The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time

60

'Tidal'

Fiona Apple, Tidal
Courtesy of Columbia Records

Fiona Apple
Columbia, 1996

In the age of Alanis and Jewel, the airwaves were crawling with troubled ingénues singing tragic ballads about their haunted eyes, but Fiona Apple stood out as a bad, bad girl. Apple was still in her teens when she made Tidal, but the New York art waif's husky voice and jazzy piano gave her confessions a surprisingly adult tone. She also came up with a knockdown theme song in "Criminal," the tale of a young woman who's been careless with a delicate man and even more careless with her delicate self. Tidal was just the beginning – and Apple has kept topping herself artistically ever since.

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