Fiona Apple McAfee-Maggart (born September 13, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and poet. Classically trained on piano as a child, Apple began composing her own songs when she was 8 years old. Her debut album, Tidal, written when Apple was 17, was released in 1996 and received a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the single "Criminal". She followed with When the Pawn… (1999), produced by Jon Brion, which was also critically and commercially successful and was certified platinum…
Collection includes: 'Tidal' (1996); 'When The Pawn…' (1999); 'Extraordinary Machine' (2005), and 'The Idler Wheel…' (2012).
The beautifully subtle pop/jazz vocalist has been one of the great old souls of music since launching her recording career after winning the first runner up prize at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. But she celebrated the significant chronological milestone of passing 30 while making this graceful and exquisite album. Beyond that, Monheit also celebrates her new motherhood to son Jack, and that's what inspired the inclusion of the always welcome "Rainbow Connection"; she sings the charming song – and its lyrics that inspired the name of the recording – to Jack all the time. At home, however, it doesn't have the exquisite Gil Goldstein accordion touch that makes this one of the best renditions ever. Goldstein arranged many of the tracks, but one of the most exciting jazzy turns, Monheit's swinging, swaggering "Get Out of Town," was done by pianist Michael Kanan, who was part of the ensemble that recorded half of these tracks while the singer was still pregnant. In many ways, then, this 13-track collection is a chronicle of the singer pre- and post-motherhood – and all something that Jack will be proud of as he grows older. As always, the key to a great interpreter's project is the choice of material, and Monheit makes interesting picks, ranging from a wistful take on Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" to Fiona Apple's dark and haunting "Slow Like Honey" and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star".
Not only is The Nightmare Before Christmas one of the best musicals of the past two decades; it may well be Danny Elfman's masterpiece, successfully integrating his main influences (from Cab Calloway to Nino Rota) into a fantastic whole. The first disc of this reissue features the original soundtrack, its songs still teetering between dark humor and poetic flights of fancy; this so-called kids' music is at least as sophisticated and skilled as anything you're likely to hear on Broadway. The second disc includes demo versions of four songs on which Elfman plays and sings everything, and five new covers of some of Nightmare's best-loved songs. Marilyn Manson successfully applies his spooky Weimar-circus style on "This Is Halloween" while Panic! At the Disco's lushly orchestrated take on the same tune is closer to the original. Fiona Apple's poignant "Sally's Song" is enhanced by very nice string charts, and She Wants Revenge does a disco take on "Kidnap the Sandy Claws." Best perhaps is Fall Out Boy's cover of "What's This?" which sounds like an unexpected cross between the Beach Boys and Queen. A highly recommended set.