We here at TNB Music would like to extend a swift kick in the ass with a steel-toed boot to 2012, with menacing threats to never, ever show its ugly mug around here again. That said, this open heart surgery of a year has yielded a rich trove of enduring albums and songs, and as we impatiently wait for 2013 to pull up out front and beep its glorious horn, the intrepid writing corps at TNB Music now pause to share our favorite offerings from 2012.

To our readers, colleagues, conspirators, confederates and harried editors, we wish you all a happy, healthy and hopelessly sexy new year.

-Joe Daly

TNB Music Editor

 

When I first read The New York Times write-up “Fiona Apple Faces Outwards”, I am struck by how deeply her transformation over the past seven years from big-eyed girl-woman to gaunt and isolated artist has affected me. Apple was always talented, but this write-up of The Idler Wheel encapsulates how Apple has transcended the fleeting pop stardom that is often offered to young, attractive female artists and has instead become a full-fledged musical auteur.

This month, our resident music critic Kevin O’Conner agreed to give his harried editor a break and handle the lion’s share of the reviews. His one requirement was that we give him a crack at the new Fiona Apple album. Happy to oblige, Kevin…

FIONA APPLE

The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

(CLEAN SLATE/EPIC)

 

The release of a Fiona Apple album is always an event. Her second album (When the Pawn…) directed a middle finger toward mainstream conventions with its 90-word title. On 2005’s Extraordinary Machine, debates raged regarding the source and quality of a leaked version of the record (not to mention the inexplicable hype surrounding the whole “Free Fiona” campaign).

A round-up of high quality tweets from people in the world of film and television.

Zach Braff: