Fiona Apple is out on the road behind "The Idler's Wheel," her first album in seven years, and performs Friday at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods.
In many ways, "The Idler's Wheel" might be thought of Apple's vague foray into progressive rock. Her voice flows curiously: a confessional whisper, tired but spooky melodies from a nightclub chanteusse, the histrionic primal screams of a teen pop hero who suddenly realizes the decade of her 20s just sort of vanished.
As for the songs, yes, Apple is tiptoeing at least slightly through actual Gentle Giant country. Compare her "Daredevil" and "Valentine," for example, to GG's "Isn't It Quiet and Cold" and "Schooldays." I'm the first human to ever suggest such a thing! The structures and arrangements jag from one idea to the next with little concern for the conventional, and Apple's choice of instrumentation is equally compelling. Cool.
- RICK KOSTER
Fiona Apple, 8 p.m. Friday, MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods; $30-$50; 1-800-200-2882, foxwoods.com.