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Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine Album Cover

Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

Reviewed by
9.6
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Fiona Apple- Extraordinary Machine
Release Date: October 4, 2005
Record Label: Epic

“Extraordinary Machine” almost became the best album you would have never heard. Thankfully for us, Fiona Apple found enough confidence in herself to release it. Quick back-story: Apple began writing this album in 2002, with Jon Brion behind the controls. As the album was about to be completed, someone leaked the album early to radio. Apple then decided to shelve this album because it was more Brion’s record than hers, since he was making all the moves and decisions. Shattered from the leak and her lack of confidence in her music ability, she pondered her future, even applying for internships in New York. Enter producer Mike Elizondo, also known as Dr. Dre’s right hand music man. Elizondo had already presented some rough treatments for the new songs before the leak threw things out of kilter. Rejuvenated, Apple re-recorded and revived her project, finally releasing “Extraordinary Machine” to the public in October. What we get is a 12-track masterpiece that obsesses over ruined relationships and revenge over a pounding and lush set of piano tunes.

The album begins with the fragile, musical hall-like rhythm of “Extraordinary Machine.” Fiona’s vocals are so smooth on this track, all the way to the climatic bridge featuring her pitch-perfect voice. The pace of the album jumps up a notch with the bouncy piano romp “Get Him Back.” A song about revenge on a former flame, Fiona's voice flows so well on this track. Next, we get the dreamy melancholy of "Oh Sailor,” an intimate song about a relationship gone wrong. “Better Version Of Me” is a rollicking tune; it kinda reminds me of the Big Band era style of music. “Tymps (The Sick In The Head Song)” is one of my favorite tracks from the album. A quirky track featuring hand claps, a marxophone, and a chamberlain, Fiona reflects on a messed up relationship in her life. “Parting Gift” is a slow piano track and Fiona’s voice shines throughout this track. “Window” has a great vibe to it and it features keys, a variety of horns, and, of course, her piano. “Please Please Please” is a bouncy track that goes up and down throughout your brain. “Red Red Red” is a slow, dark track about what goes on in Fiona’s mind. “Waltz (Better Than Fine)” closes out the album and this track is one of the few Brion-produced tracks to make the final version of the album. It’s a rhythmic piano track featuring an organ as well as an orchestra. It is a great closing track to this great album.

I’m so pissed off at myself for waiting so long to listen to this stellar album. If I had listened to this earlier, this would have been in my top 5 easily. Anyway, Fiona Apple has created her masterpiece. She has overcome her demons and fears and has released a true phenomenon of an album. “Extraordinary Machine” bares the soul of an artist with an expansive, hard-fought range of emotions about love and identity, and with the ability to express them all through well-crafted tracks. These are complicated songs for complicated sentiments. Thankfully, Fiona released it for us to enjoy. If you are into music with meaning and substance then this album is for you, as “Extraordinary Machine” is one of the finest releases of the past five years.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11
02:10 AM on 12/31/05
#2
Garett Press
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Why did you put her name as if this was a high school attendance sheet and not a review?

I need to listen to this
02:13 AM on 12/31/05
#3
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Originally Posted by Garett Press
Why did you put her name as if this was a high school attendance sheet and not a review?

I need to listen to this

I dunno, so that it's in alphabetical order? lol
02:14 AM on 12/31/05
#4
fluke182
Burning bicycles for revenge
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High quality album. You guys have been tossing out some serious high grades lately, but this one is definitely deserving of one.
02:15 AM on 12/31/05
#5
Garett Press
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Originally Posted by Drew Beringer
I dunno, so that it's in alphabetical order? lol
But the artists name is Fiona Apple! That's like her band name, people ain't gonna look for it under Apple! Lol, but let's not fight, u're too important to me.
02:15 AM on 12/31/05
#6
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Originally Posted by fluke182
High quality album. You guys have been tossing out some serious high grades lately, but this one is definitely deserving of one.

Yeah, this is one of the best, if not the best, album of 2005.
02:17 AM on 12/31/05
#7
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Originally Posted by Garett Press
But the artists name is Fiona Apple! That's like her band name, people ain't gonna look for it under Apple! Lol, but let's not fight, u're too important to me.

Haha, I'm changing it.
02:35 AM on 12/31/05
#8
Gabe Gross
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i agree with this review...i am a sucker for tortured female artists too
08:59 AM on 12/31/05
#9
LeftWideOpen
not another brick in the wall.
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this is the best album of the year in my opinion, hands down. i don't think theres one vocalist today, male or female, who is anywhere near fiona's league. it might even be the best album to come out since in the past 5 years or so. it's that good. everyone who hasnt heard it should pick it up because they're missing out.
03:06 PM on 12/31/05
Pass The Flask
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i agree with the above. this is my album of the year. have been listening to it every day since the day it came out. i fucking love fiona.
04:46 PM on 01/31/06
Ladron
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Fiona is stuck in the 90s, she hasn't changed her sound all that much.

I do like this though.

anyone heard of Julieta Venegas? people call her the Mexican Fiona Apple.

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