Ignored Obscured Restored
When Fiona Apple sings “I’ve been a bad, bad girl,” I believe her. The opening line from her 1997 hit, “Criminal”, is chilling. Then she goes on…
I’ve been careless with a delicate man
And it’s a sad, sad world
When a girl will break a boy
Just because she can
That’s downright scary!!! As is the chorus:
What I need is a good defense
Cause I’m feelin’ like a criminal
And I need to be redeemed
To the one I’ve sinned against
Because he’s all I ever knew of love
The song’s wicked sexy lyrics have a wicked sexy musical vibe to go with it. (The controversial, official video is pretty sexy too.) The opening bass groove sounds like a carnival version of Albert King’s blues classic “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
The jazzy romp builds to a lyrical climax, then continues for almost 2 more minutes with an Egyptian motif on organ and some dissonant chords banged out on the piano. A very cool way to bring it all back down.
“Criminal” won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
Last year Apple announced she would donate the royalties she earns from “Criminal” to While They Wait, a social service agency that helps immigrants and refugees applying for asylum or other legal relief.
Enjoy… until next week.