Dusting Off… Fiona Apple's Tidal
Digging through the vaults, each week at hmv.com we shine a lost on a lost classic, this week it’s Fiona Apple’s 1996 masterpiece Tidal...
What Is It?
Released quietly back in 1996, Tidal is the debut album from eccentric singer-songwriter Fiona Apple. Put out when the New York native was just 19 years old, little was expected of this album, which seldom features more than a piano and vocals, but after it received immense critical acclaim and huge reaction from fans, it went on to sell almost three million copies and become an instant classic.
10 tracks in all, the album lurches from mood to mood, with Apple at once full of bravado and anger then lamenting her own failings and mistakes in love. Opener ‘Sleep To Dream’ is a thundering assault on a man who’s done her wrong and is a real finger waging anthem, but seconds later on ‘Sullen Girl’, it’s as if Apple’s curled up in a corner cursing her own failings.
Following this you can tracks like the brilliant ‘Shadowboxer’, which takes onto the cruelty of the early stages, the viscerally angry ‘Criminal’, the oddly poppy ‘The First Taste’ and the glorious ballad ‘Carrion’.
From the first second the needle drops and the drums rolls in on ‘Sleep To Dream’, this album will keep you guessing with its shift in mood, tempo and groove. It’s utterly captivating.
Why Should I Revisit?
There is so much of Fiona Apple in many contemporary artists, so much. You can hear her elegance in much of BANKS’ writing, her power and spikiness in Lana Del Rey and her more playful moments in Florence & The Machine. Been enjoying the wave of smart, in control, playful yet powerful singer songwriters? Well Fiona Apple was doing this almost 20 years ago. Forget Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill, this is the definitive statement of the mid 1990s.
Who Will I Enjoy It?
If you’re a fan of all the aforementioned artists, or if you go back a little further and want to hear the next time in singer-songwriters after Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez, then don’t look a step further. This album is as beautiful, as serene, as poetic, as quietly shocking and as affecting as the day it was released.
You can buy Tidal in hmv stores now and preview the album by clicking on the icon on the right-hand side of the page.