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Fetch the Bolt Cutters

by Fiona Apple

Released April 17, 2020 via Epic Records

Originally reviewed April 28, 2020

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Shameika (38%), I Want You To Love Me (32%), Cosmonauts (32%)

Freedom from oppression and outside constraint are at the core of singer/songwriter Fiona Apple’s fifth studio album. Built upon unorthodox percussion, created largely through the use of non-musical objects, convention is challenged at every turn. And when paired with piano, these instrumentals certainly stand out, but they really serve more as an echoing of the album’s sentiment while Apple’s songwriting reigns strong. Unedited, Apple’s voice is raw and emotional as she often switches between singing and an intense rhythmic brand of spoken word. We see her reflecting on experiences with sexual assault, complex interpersonal relationships, and more of life’s constraints — with the intent of metaphorically breaking the lock and freeing herself from these burdens. Shifting boundaries of pop and challenging convention, Fiona Apple does it again with another fantastic record. – Dominick (8.7/10)

Fetch the Bolt Cutters is Fiona Apple's fifth studio album and her first since The Idler Wheel... in 2012.The record is broad in breadth and can be looked upon as Songwriting 101. With an album such as this—sparse in instrumentation, though effective in its simplicity—the songwriting has to hit the mark. Where one element of the material is pulled back, another element has to be furthered, maintaining a crucial balance. Fetch the Bolt Cutters passes with flying colours. Where there's a message to be conveyed, a simpler approach tends to hit with an impact unlike any other, and this is a prime example of such. There are no bells or whistles so to speak. Nothing to distract the listener from the overarching theme, just straight up honesty and emotive spill. Fiona Apple has created a project of sovereign structure and stability. 2020 year-end lists are skeletal without the presence of Fetch the Bolt Cutters. You can be sure that decade end lists will blossom with Apple's influence. – Peter (8.5/10)

Jared: 9.5/10 | Enth: 9/10 | Daniel: 8.8/10 | Dominick: 8.7/10

Cam: 8.5/10 | Peter: 8.5/10 | Victoria: 8.5/10 | Hadley: 7.5/10


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