Perhaps no one was greeted with as enthusiastic a reception in 2012 as Fiona Apple -- check those thorough and thoughtful profiles in New York and the Times (and a glowing review from us). Her fourth studio album is as spare as its 23-word title is verbose.

'The Idler Wheel...' comes from Apple’s fascination with mechanics: The idler wheel is a part of an engine standing adjacent to the action -- a role she sees herself often in. The album is an exploration of relationships, of introversion, neurosis, and romance. As brilliant as she is transparent, as downcast as she is inspired, listening to Apple's latest album is like entering into a relationship with the singer as she opens up all her hopes, worries, a pop hook or two, and maybe even your heart.