Single Review: Fiona Apple “Fast As You Can”

Fast As You Can
Album: When the Pawn…
Year: 1999

In 1999, the peak year of boybands and Lolita pop singers, some intelligent albums were able to surface. Barely. Fiona Apple’s second release, “When The Pawn…” was one of those albums.

The first single “Fast As You Can” is a hyper, frenetic look at the beginning of a relationship. In it, she’s cynical, but mostly due to her emotions. She says to the man who thinks he understands her, but doesn’t: “you say you don’t spook easy/you won’t go/and I pray that you will.” She then encourages him to leave quickly in the chorus. Later, she explores her weaknesses like being temperamental, wanting the last word, and saying harsh things. She’s afraid of being hurt again. Pushing him away is how she defends herself against it.

She softens in the bridge, hoping to get some assurance from him, “cuz I’m tired of whys/choking on whys/just need a little because, because.” However, the hyper pace returns again as one of her weaknesses reappears. This time, it’s taken control of her and she has left the relationship.

The woodwinds and wurlitzer reinforce Fiona Apple’s neuroses by being hurried nearly throughout. However, the song wouldn’t ring true without her voice. Her intense voice ranges from being direct and in control (first verse) to pleading (bridge) and finally, dismissive.

Fiona Apple is a strong songwriter who sings about the internal conflicts people face. This is what seperates her from other current singer/songwriters.


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