Once more, with more feeling than is tolerable at times, Apple blurs that line between love and hate; she kisses till she draws blood, hugs till she breaks bones, caresses till it feels like a slap across the jaw. "I've been cryin' blue, but all I can see is red, red, red, red," she sings, the heartbroken girl, as always, out for vengeance. But this time, Brion softens the blow, wrapping Apple and her piano in lush arrangements that turn these murder-of-love ballads into show tunes and carnival melodies and waltzes and torch songs and Disneyfied ditties. So whatever this is -- finished gem or phony diamond, grassroots campaign or PR-machine product -- dismiss the attendant noise and focus only on what's here, which happens to be a miniature masterpiece.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.