Fiona Apple: Tidal

August 28, New York: I have a confession to make: I went to the Lilith Fair. Twice. One of those times was with a girlfriend. But the first time was with my best friend Chris and we went as two straight dudes with the best of intentions— we just loved the music! (We loved it so much we drove all the way from St. Petersburg, Florida to Atlanta.)

Why go so far? Well, a lot of it had to do with Fiona Apple. We loved her. Loved her music and both had monster crushes on her. It came from an honest place! We listened to Tidal and were blown away. Before the hyper-sexual “Criminal” video, before her VMA acceptance speech sass, Chris and I were obsessed with how damn talented this woman was. She could play a mean piano, had a completely unique sultry voice, and WHOA could she write a song. We were superfans.

Forget “Criminal”, here’s “Shadowboxer” instead.

Tidal was at the beginning of a lengthy period in which Chris and I were obsessed with female singer/songwriters. Which, perhaps unsurprising for teenagers, the radio was conveniently obsessed with as well. This is the period of Jewel, Sarah MacLachlan, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb (those glasses!). We unabashedly loved them all. And we unabashedly wore our Lilith Fair t-shirts. To our high school. For real.

Tidal is still a pretty great album. It stands outside of its place in time, to my ears at least. I love a Fiona Apple turn of phrase in the lyrics and I love the way the piano drifts along. Happy to have given myself an excuse to re-listen to this one.

Relive the Lilith Fair yourself and buy this gorgeous little album.

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