Back in 1996 there was a debut album that was released and it was one of those albums that would go on to influence and inspire countless other artists and bands. The album I’m referring to is Fiona Apple’s, Tidal. This album is not only a game changer. It’s one of those classic albums that sets a standard. When you listen to this album it’s fully immersive as everything about it hits you the moment it starts. Which brings me to track one, “Sleep To Dream.” The way this song sets the tone and vibe for the next nine songs is astounding. The intro has this bit of tension with the drums and subtle bass line that is gently caressed into a sweet melody that introduces us to the glorious voice of Fiona. Interestingly, supposedly “Sleep To Dream” was reportedly Apple’s first lyric, penned when she was 14. Which at 14 writing a song like this is pretty damn exceptional. One of the things I love most about this song is that it it’s a perfect one to kick off the album. “Sleep To Dream” is a song that at times is often overlooked due to the success of the song “Criminal,” but, I do think this song is an absolute standout and even a better song than “Criminal.” If it’s been a minute since you put on Tidal, I highly recommend that changes for you. This is one of those albums that should be celebrated and regarded as not just a great debut but a quintessential album of the 1990’s.
Fiona Apple- Sleep To Dream (Official Video):
Fiona Apple- Sleep To Dream (Live On The Howard Stern Show 1997):
Last night I was watching an old episode of Family Guy and in the one I was watching they did a parody of the Fiona Apple video for “Criminal.” So of course, that would lead me to this. Back in September of 1997, the video for the single “Criminal” by Fiona Apple was released. Her debut album Tidal, had already been out for a bit and singles like “Shadowboxer” and “Sleep To Dream” had been out as well. The album itself was met with critical and audience acclaim but it wasn’t really until the release of the video for “Criminal” that solidified the impact Fiona Apple would have. The video was directed by the extrodinary Mark Romanek (Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Jay Z, etc). Romanek and cinematographer Harris Savides created a video that was sensual and dangerous yet uncomfortable at the same time. Either way, the song by Fiona Apple and the video by Mark Romanek are truly gems and deserve to be recognized as that.
2016 will mark 20 years since Fiona Apple’s debut album Tidal was released. Recently I was compelled to take a listen back to this angsty masterpiece. This album is one of the most profound albums of the 1990’s and it is drenched in sensuality, danger and depression all in a good way. Songs like “Criminal,” “Shadowboxer,” “Sleep To Dream,” “Slow Like Honey,” “The First Taste,” and “Never Is A Promise,” have long been stellar tracks on this album. Fiona’s voice shows so much vulnerability and despair, it’s no wonder she was able to connect with so many people that listened to her. There is so many adjectives to describe her and this album. Instead of me going on and on, I’ll stop and let you all take a listen to Tidal and you can soak it all in!