'Seek! Me! Out!'

Fiona Apple wants your attention. Her new album earns it

Chad Batka

Fiona Apple at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday March 23, 2012.

"I'm a tulip in a cup," Fiona Apple snaps on her stark, unnerving new album. "I stand no chance of growing up." But she already has. As a teenager, Apple got over by presenting herself as a sensitive and vulnerable ingenue--a sort of beta version of Adele. Like the current moment's young, smoldering singer-songwriter-pianist, Apple wasn't yet out of her teens when her debut album (1996's Tidal) appeared. Her breakthrough hit, "Criminal," smartly inverted the lurid innocent-girl-led-astray clichs that its video embraced. But manic pixie dream girls eventually become manic-depressive pixilated women. Over the past decade and a half, Apple's music...

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