Fiona Apple - 20th most vital artist today according to Spin Magazine, May 1998

         "My whole thing last year was to convince the world that I didn't care what they thought about me," says Fiona Apple, rock's most fascinating work-in-progress. "And I guess it worked, because now I really don't." If the Apple we've been watching since her darkly wondrous debut, Tidal, has indeed been a false front, then perhaps we'd better brace ourselves for what's to come. In a year publicly defined by her MTV Video Music Awards acceptance rant, the mixed messages of her ubiquitous "Criminal" video, and her sometimes loopy interviews, the confidence and maturity of her bluesy, torch-like songwriting was often lost in the shuffle. "The writers do ask me about the songs," Apple says, "but when it comes out in the articles it's all rape and underwear and sex and bad boyfriends." Apple recently returned to the studio, but she's still not sure what direction her new album will take. "Part of the joy of making a record is figuring out who I am now," she says. On this day, at least, the poster girl for adolescent angst is downright bubbly, gushing over a new shipment of handmade gifts from girl fans. "Much as I complain and whine in my songs-and I don't feel sorry for doing that-they also bring out reasons not to whine."

1997 ranking: -
Alan Light
Taken without permission from Spin Online

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