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Fiona Apple- When The PawnProduct description FIONA APPLE Amazon.com Fiona Apple, what a character. Between the softcore video, the awards show rebuke, and now for her second album concocting history's most ludicrous title (the full thing runs 90 words long), Apple is earning a rep as a world-class oddball. Which may be the case. In contrast to many of her faux eccentric contemporaries, however, this wolf in waif's clothing seems to be genuinely astray in the straight world. And Apple is the real thing in another way--as a talent. When the Pawn Hits picks up where her eye-opening debut, Tidal, left off. With Jon Brion back in the producer's seat, the twosome concoct a heady, keyboard-heavy soundscape that perfectly complements the singer's assertive, dangerously sexy Nina Simone-meets-Chrissie Hynde delivery. Unforeseen embellishments color the arrangements, including the sinister carnival interlude in "On the Bound," the George Harrison-like guitar in "Mistake," and the drum solo (when's the last time you heard one of those on a pop album?) in "Limp." All Brion's enhancements are in service of Apple, who comes through with preternaturally confident expressions of insecure sentiments ("Change my mind, I can't decide, there's too many variations to consider") and cold-eyed accounts of recrimination and self-recrimination. Cohesive, gutsy, and finely honed, When the Pawn Hits pummels any notions of a sophomore slump for 1996's most promising newcomer. A character, yes, but what an artist, too! --Steven Stolder
UPC Number: 07464691952
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