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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great album!!! (though too many drums!)
The single "Fast as you can" first got me interested in Fiona Apple, (before that i'd never heard of her!!)but i have to say that this song pales into insignificance compared to the rest of the album! "Paper Bag" simply is THE greatest song of the nineties with clever words,a great tune and a haunting voice! And i defy you not to learn the words to...
Published on 6 Jan. 2001

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars very mediocre
How this album can ever be rated as high as the pretty good Tidal is quite beyond me. The piano and the voice may sound the same, but the songs are lifeless, the music mediocre. Tidal was a strong album, the melodies good, the lyrics strong. This is a bland offering.
Published on 27 Dec. 2012 by dan


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great album!!! (though too many drums!), 6 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
The single "Fast as you can" first got me interested in Fiona Apple, (before that i'd never heard of her!!)but i have to say that this song pales into insignificance compared to the rest of the album! "Paper Bag" simply is THE greatest song of the nineties with clever words,a great tune and a haunting voice! And i defy you not to learn the words to "Limp" so you can shout along! One ciritisim is that the producers must have got a new drum sampeler for christmas and wanted to try it out on EVERY single song, (just skip past "On the bound" if drums annoy you!)but if this is the only thing slightly wrong with the album then hey! Hurry up Fiona and write the next one, my angst needs defining!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When the pawn becomes a queen, 11 Jan. 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
Fiona Apple returns in rare form in "When the Pawn..." (plus about ninety more words), her sophomore album -- and one of the rare ones that actually improves on the first. Her passionate bluesy-jazzy sound is blended with her strong, sensitive vocals and one soul-baring song after another.

"Hell don't know my fury." You said it, Fiona. Anger and melancholy permeate her songs, including the rage of "Limp" ("But no matter what I try/You'll beat me with your bitter lies") and the restrained quality of piano-bombast "The Way Things Are." Even the musically gentle "I Know" has a deep sadness, starting to move past some of the bitterness and anger coming before it, and early on Apple seems to apologize for her romantic shortcomings.

Female singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen today, but few of them do much more than set basic pop songs to acoustic guitar and piano. But Fiona Apple forges ahead with a noncomformist attitude and strong songs. In a nutshell, she comes across as an excellent musician, with all the power you'd expect from such a singer. And every song is a winner, gut-wrenching and beautiful in its intensity.

Musically, it has almost as much impact as her writing does. The music is often led by Apple's piano -- not tinkly piano, but dark, fast melodies that match her songs in rhythm and intensity. Percussion booms in songs like "Limp," as if giving vent to Apple's feelings. And cropping up from time to time are odd gurgles and squiggles, as well as some well-blended horn arrangements in the background.

Apple's voice is strong and assured, but it also has that rare quality of expressing vast amounts of emotion. Without, I might add, sounding overwrought. Which, since the mood is that of an Angry Young Woman, is a hard thing to pull off, but Apple's richly poetic lyrics ("And you can use my skin/to bury secrets in") make her songs seem intensely personal.

"When the Pawn..." is an almost exhausting experience -- just try listening to the whole thing without getting your heart rate up. From rotten lovers to personal pain, Fiona Apple explores the bitter side of love... and despite its bitterness, it's a gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of melody and poetry, 13 Sept. 2007
By 
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This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
I must admit I bought this album when it first came out several year ago but only re-discovered it on my iPod just the other day. It's a great lyrical journey with melodies that match Fiona's unique vocal quality. It's both sparky and subtle. I've happily played it in the car driving late into the night, sat at home reading the papers on a Sunday or in the background of a dinner party. Enjoy it and let Fiona embrace you.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big improvement from the fruity lady, 16 Mar. 2000
By 
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
In 1997, an unknown singer / songwriter releases her debut album "Tidal", a collection of meandering piano-led ballads, not unlike Tori Amos of any of the Lilith Fair stalwarts. In a wave of post Jagged Little Pill hysteria it goes on to sell over three million copies worldwide, although it flopped over here - even the gorgeous single "Sleep To Dream" sank without trace. Three years and one nervous breakdown later she returns with an album which title makes Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie look like lyrics to a Steps song. When The Pawn... is a vast improvement over her last album, it's still a fragile blend of anger and love, but the directionless songs of Tidal have been replaced with a much more upbeat feel and many different musical styles, from pop to rock to 30's lounge bar. True, some songs towards the middle tend to lose momentum (A Mistake, Paper Bag), but overall this is a finely crafted selection of songs, especially the emotively jarring single "Fast As You Can", and the poignancy of a violent relationship that unfolds with "The Way Things Are". One for people who care about what the lyrics say as much as how it is put across.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original!, 6 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
Why must we compare her to Tori Amos, Alanis Morisette, et cetera? Fiona Apple is an individual in her own right and this album isn't like anything else I've heard. It's angsty, but somehow less desolate than "Tidal". Hope resonates from her voice more than it did in her previous album and I like it. Special stars for "Limp", "Fast As U Can", "Get Gone" and "The Way Things Are". I also love the lyrics on "On the Bound". An excellent compilation of songs (there isn't a bad egg to be seen here)!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Other Side of Fiona, 17 April 2012
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
I find it hard to understand why this album wasn't massive. It is simply one of the best rock albums ever made. Fiona Apple is intelligent and knows how to play with the words creating her own verbal atmosphere, and on When the Pawn... she reveals the poet that she truly is. Not that the lyrics from Tidal aren't poetic (in fact the naïveté of her debut accentuates her writing skills) but this time she is able to assemble that virtue with every single detail of her songs (the instruments, the tempo...) pretty much everything is geometrical, pre-designed and when you press play it's as if you were pushing a domino piece and as you watch the domino chain fall down you realize how everything is in the right place. There are no mistakes here (kind of ironic seeing that there's a track called exactly A Mistake). She can be angry like on Limp or devilishly threatening like on Fast as You Can (for me the best song of the record and one of the best alternative rock tracks ever) or even introspective and sad like on the stunning Love Ridden but she is always compelling and true and with that outstanding voice and those lyrics she really needn't try to become anything else.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise beyond her years, 20 Feb. 2004
By 
N. Clarke (Lancs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
Combining an alluringly smoky voice with sparky lyrics that hit their target every time, Fiona Apple has plenty of evident talent, and _When the Pawn_ showcases it brilliantly. Backed by musical arrangements ranging from smooth to catchy to quirky, Apple gives us here a collection of songs filled with dry, self-deprecating wit, spot-on observations and a striking emotional honesty. There's a precisely-worded insight into human weaknesses that's reminiscent of a less self-conscious (and self-consciously political) Ani Difranco. And in 'Limp' she provides the best Angry Young Woman song ever, both stirring and bitingly funny. Fabulous.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Alanis comparisons, 14 Feb. 2000
By 
R. A. Mansfield "bertieronbob" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
Fiona Apple inevitably draws conclusions with Alanis Morrisette and Tori Amos, which is a pity, because this may well put off prospective listeners. Already feted in the US as one of the albums of 1999, alongside Moby (Americans do have some taste, even if they do like Limp Bizkit), this is a ballsy collection of angry, yet melodic and meaningful songs which do not fail to stir the soul. The one downside of the album? The pretentious 90-word 'poem' album title - what was I saying about ignoring the Alanis comparisons?
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5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected delight!, 22 July 2007
By 
Chipstick (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
Fiona Apple is a new, and delightful, discovery for me.

Her voice and style are a curious meeting of KT Tunstall, Chrissie Hynde, Pink (her ballads), Buffy Sainte Marie and Joan As Police Woman. Her songs, curiously upbeat jazzy ballads, explore relationships and emotions.

The arrangements are fairly simple with unexpected additions which lend a true originality to her work. Her lyrics create images quite unique, compelling and vivid.

Just like Joan As Police Woman, her songs grow as you listen to and appreciate the lyrics more.

If you like songs with a bit of depth and emotion then this is for you!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words arent good enough to describe this album, 7 Aug. 2001
By 
B. Batista-Pedro (Chicago, IL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When the Pawn... (Audio CD)
I own a lot of cd's. Around about 1000. I listen to jazz, metal, punk, basically anything that has emotion that I can relate to. And this is my favourite album ever. 'Tidal' is a very good album but 'When the Pawn...' is unbelievable. Fiona has the sexiest voice in the world, her lyrics are touching and thought provoking. The arrangements are interesting without being pretensious. The production, particularly on the drums is outstanding. And unlike many solo artists, the backing musicians are prominent enough to creat big sounding songs without crowding out the piano or vocals. Every second of this album is brilliant. I can fault it and believ it or not I am VERY fussy.
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When the Pawn
When the Pawn by Fiona Apple (Audio CD - 1999)
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