Fiona Apple, "Every Single Night"

>> Friday, April 27, 2012

That this is here at all surprises me. I cannot think of a previous incident where I actually liked a Fiona Apple song, though I didn't object to her cover of The Beatles' "Across The Universe". Until now. I heard this in the car the other day, and I admit, I liked it, I actually liked it.

There ought to be a rule that no album title can have so many words you have to pause for a breath and a glass of water before you get to the far end of it. This isn't why Apple didn't do it for me, though it didn't really help. Well before that, there was something about "Criminal" that irritated me even before it was played so many times it was like the butt-end of a splinter under the ridges of your thumb, feeling the size of a cinderblock but to fine to tease out even with the most narrownosed tweezers you have in your medicine cabinet.

There may be an irony in that there was something about precocious young Fiona Apple that suggested some sort of ripping-off-of or riding-the-wake-of Tori Amos, and here's a song that has a very, very Amosian feel, more of an Amosian feel than probably anything else I've heard from Apple, and this one is the one that hits a nerve and lingers. Early Amos, we might add; Tori has gone off some kind of long pier the last few records and I don't think I can swim out past those breakers anymore, I'm sorry, so sorry, so very, very sorry. "Every Single Night" might have been the second single on a Tori Amos EP, almost, nestled between an album excerpt and a strange cover.

Those kinds of comparisons are unfair, I know. Apple is her own woman, her debut album came out sixteen years ago (it will be contemplating college soon, though it's probably more focused on junior prom right at the moment). But we go for the referents we understand in our own heads. "This record," we say to ourselves, "is just like this thing over here," and we do this not just because some things are like others but because analogies, however strained, are the only way we understand anything, ever, at all, pretty much.


pharmacy Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 4:01:00 PM EDT  

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