I rarely like albums on the first listen, but Fiona Apple's "The Idler Wheel" is my favorite album from last year, and I liked it from the first.
I enjoyed her hit "Criminal", but was bored by Jon Brion's production style (foot on piano pedal for echo, pound and hold chord, repeat) and soon tuned her out. I also worried about her, getting a sense that by listening to her songs I was injuring her in some way.
After reading a review I got her album and listened to it on headphones during a long walk. Then listened to it again. An interview Apple gave on Marc Maron's WTF podcast gave assurance that she was resilient and funny. She puts herself on her sleeve, and actually lets some of it get on you, or lets it fall to the floor with a laugh. But she has tenacity and creativity.
Her video for "Hot Knife" is directed by ex-boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson, an excellent film director ("Boogie Nights", "There Will Be Blood") who also keeps knocking up Maya Rudolph. Respect.