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Tidal Enhanced

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Audio CD, Enhanced, July 23, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fiona Apple Tidal US CD album

Tidal is the debut album by Fiona Apple, a New York singer-songwriter-pianist who was 18 years old at the time of its 1996 release. Apple is obviously talented--she has a dark, smoky alto and a knack for an arresting turn of phrase--but she's still several years away from realizing her potential. For every fresh lyric she writes ("Daddy longlegs, I feel that I'm finally growing weary of waiting to be consumed by you"), she provides two examples of embarrassingly precious schoolgirl poetry ("Adagio breezes fill my skin with sudden red," from the same song, "The First Taste"). She also has yet to refine her moody piano chords into actual melodies, though "Shadowboxer" comes close. --Geoffrey Himes

1. Sleep To Dream
2. Sullen Girl
3. Shadowboxer
4. Criminal
5. Slow Like Honey
6. The First Taste
7. Never Is A Promise
8. The Child Is Gone
9. Pale September
10. Carrion

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 23, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002BE9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,000 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By George Mallone on July 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Tidal is a poweful, passionate, poetic piece of work, from a woman whose art, voice, and personality would seem to possess all of the aforementioned qualities as well.
From the first track, Sleep to Dream, Fiona grabs you with her strong vocals, both in their performance and their lyrics. Fiona effortlessly transitions from such passionately angry pieces as Sleep to Dream to quieter, piano-centered pieces like Sullen Girl, giving us, through voice and lyric, a musical journey through the range of emotions that make up the ebb-and-flow of a young woman's journey through romantic life (that ebb-and-flow being the inspiration of the album's name, Tidal.)
Other notable pieces are of course the quite famous Criminal, with its jazzy, self-impugning look at romantic sin; The First Taste, combining a dance beat with all of Fiona's subtle lyrical poeticism, and the perhaps underappreciated Never is a Promise, a breathtakingly beautiful, melancholy song about the limits to which one can communicate one's essence, even to those one most deeply cares about.
Fiona sings with a maturity, her lyrics reveal a depth, her music demonstrates a passion most would say was "beyond her years." To me, Fiona demonstrates clearly that popular music created by a young person (Fiona was only 18 when this was released), need not sound like the general conception of what popular music created by a young person sounds like (e.g.. the Pop Princess Cabal.) No, this is the beautiful work of a profoundly mature young artist, and it is one that you cannot afford to miss.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Fiona Apple has become one of those few singer-songwriters who is known for her talent, with only two albums to her name. Her debut "Tidal" is more uneven than her sophomore album, but Apple's rich voice and exquisite musicianship make up for the occasional lyrical stumbles.

"You say love is a hell you cannot bear/And I say gimme mine back and then go there for all I care," Apple sings in the first song, her alto suspended somewhere between a purr and a snarl. Backling her up is her own textured piano playing, backed by a heavy bass lick that pops up every few seconds like a tribal drum.

But unworthy lovers aren't the only topic that Apple tackles here. She also explores personal changes ("And I suddenly feel like a different person/From the roots of my soul come a gentle coercion"), hurting others in love, and "You'll say "don't fear your dreams"/It's easier than it seems."

Her songs are painfully deep in themselves, but it's all the more shocking and stunning when you realize that she was only eighteen when the album was released. Her music exudes the sorrow, anger and emotion of a woman twenty years older, mixed in with the ever-changing personality of a young girl. Music like this can't be calculated; it can only ever be real.

Her youth does show in songs like "Pale Summer," or certain awkward lines like "Oh, your love give me a heart contusion/Adagio breezes fill my skin with sudden red." It sounds a bit too overblown, in a high-school poetry way. But Apple has a rare way with simpler lines, giving them a verbal punch that a shadowboxer couldn't match. "I have never been so insulted in all my life/I could swallow the seas to wash down all this pride!" she snarls in the first song.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By jman on July 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Fiona's voice is a distinct beauty. Her songwriting is beyond her years--powerful and honest.
I didn't like Fiona when I first heard her way back in '96 (seems like eons ago). I thought "shadowboxer" was boring. A year later I still didn't like her or her new song, "sleep to dream"--it was boring too. But I began to respect her, artistically. I knew she had talent and could sing and write very well (a combination lacking in today's music). By the end of 1997, I fell in love with her song, "sullen girl" and the rest of her album, through a friend's copy of "TIDAL".
Now "sleep to dream" is one of my favorite songs, and I also like "shadowboxer". "Sullen Girl" is a song anyone, male or female, could relate to in regards to the lyrics:'Days like this, I don't know what to do with myself . . .' Of course the song turns out to be about her rape. The rest of the album is flawless. Even the slower, less appealing tracks, "The Child is Gone", "Slow Like Honey" have a unique, beautiful sound. It's hard to pick a favorite track cuz there's so many good ones--"Never is a Promise" is a meditation on hopelessness and that familiar suicidal urge, "Criminal" is one of the best songs to hit the airwaves in years, and "The First Taste" is perfect.
Overall, this is an impressive debut. It's rare to find a young female artist who can sing AND write so well.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Jones on May 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Right around the time Fiona Apple was garnering just as much airplay as she was accolades for "Tidal," her debut album, she also showed a knack for raising eyebrows: there was the video in her underwear, not to mention her denouncement of an MTV award as she accepted one. But for whatever maturity she lacked in public presentation was more than made up for in her music, as this lush and jazzy project proves.
The album kicks off with a bass-heavy drum lick and a husky a capella line: "I tell you how I feel but you don't care/I say tell me the truth but you don't dare/you say love is a hell you cannot bear/and I say give me mine back and then go there, for all I care." Clearly this is not the work of a producer-guided youth; Fiona is world- and love-weary beyond her years, evident in both her embittered lyrics and her husky alto. "Shadowboxer" was a loungey, sophisticated piece that nonetheless found its way to radio, and when a song like "Criminal" seemed tailor-made for radio, it was a mere coincidence; no artistic integrity spared here.
Other gems include the jazzy, Joni Mitchell-esque "Slow Like Honey," and the slinky groove of "The First Taste" (for the latter, imagine Sade with a dark side). Throughout the album Fiona further exerts her originality with arrangement; it's not every day that you hear acoustic piano and vibraphone in modern pop music.
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