Fiona Apple’s fourth album (her first in 7 years) is different than her previous albums. Musically it is sparse and pared down without a lot of the flourish that was found on 2005’s Extraordinary Machine. Most songs only have light piano and sparse percussion. Lyrically it is… happier and more self-reflective. At first I didn’t think that I’d enjoy it because the music was so sparse, each song almost sounding like a demo and lacking the “polish” of a full piece. But the more and more I listen to it the more that I feel myself coming back and listening to it over and over. Without all the extra instrumentation I feel like I can connect to the music. It’s hard to explain, but I just really like listening to it. Apple’s lyrics are also more mature in this album. Whereas in the past most of her songs were about torn relationships and other gloom that was usually the other parties’ fault, on The Idler Wheel Apple finally starts to admit that she was a party to all of the mayhem in her life. Some songs focus on this while others focus on love both lost and found. Ironically, some of it is even uplifting. Currently one of my favorites.