by Jeff Hahne
on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 8:37 AM
FIONA APPLE Fiona Apple’s 1996 debut Tidal hit like a comet — people couldn’t get enough as the album went on to sell nearly 3 million copies. Much like a comet, the awe burned out fast and her fans wondered if the glow would ever return. Her sophomore album, When the Pawn..., was a critical success but was known more for its lengthy poem-of-a-title than for any hits. A third album was shelved by Sony executives before finally seeing the light of day, thanks to the demands of fans. Now, Apple has finally released a fourth album, The Idler Wheel..., and another lengthy, poetic title, and her introspective music continues to break ground, with critics calling it another leap forward. Apple often finds the perfect balance in pop sensibility, while flirting with hints of rock and jazz. How it all comes together live remains to be seen, but so far it looks like the light is shining a little brighter once again. $56. Sept. 26, 8 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. 704-916-8970.