Fiona Apple
Extraordinary Machine



by radianteclipse USER (26 Reviews)
April 11th, 2006 | 13 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

It's hard to describe Fiona Apple in few words. She's a strange individual, known best for her sexually awkward videos and the world's longest album title. There is no denying she is beyond unique, and distances herself in sound from any of the popular female artists out there today. She truly holds her own, and her sound is something to take in and appreciate.

Extraordinary Machine is Fiona Apple's first album in roughly six years. The album was having trouble being released due to some record label issues, hence the six year gap. But now, after the long hiatus, it is truly a treat to have her back with her most interesting, unique, and eccentric album to date. Her sound has changed, and has changed for the better. The music is now dominated by her lovely voice, inspired lyrics, strings galore, and songs driven by piano. The album has a vibe that is not easily described, and often times the songs have a circus-music, upbeat, hypnotic flair to them. Now, take that idea of sound and add hip-hop inspired beats into the layering and you have quite an Extraordinary Machine.

This album is her best work to date, and is compiled of some of her most beautiful and well put together work. It's amazing to even think that this album was almost not released for not being "pop" enough for Epic records. Songs like "Not About Love" start out with a catchy piano part then introduce those atmospheric and uplifting strings and her beautiful voice complementing it very well. Then the piano breakdown into a cabaret-esque stop and go segment, and her voice reduces to a beautiful whisper. Then the cartoon like sound of the strings re-introduce themselves once more.

"Get Him Back" has that uplifting, cabaret-like sound. Strange sounds galore, new instruments being introduced throughout. Each track a new, fun-filled journey. "Oh Sailor" provides a sound similar to some of her previous albums, and is a great leading single and has a catchy chorus reminiscent of the Fiona of old.

In fact, I can't even go into detail of all the tracks, each provides something completely different and unique. The entire album is a journey of sorts, taking you into the mind of Fiona Apple and showing off to the world what she has been wanting to do all along, but her record company was holding her back. I am very happy they finally let her realease this, because it has that special flare that I always knew she had the potential of. Though it might not be the most widely accepted album by her fans, it's her most artistic, original, and spectacular album thus far. It doesn't quite reach classic status, but in a music scene full of uninspired female voices who don't bring anything new to the table, this is a refreshing breath of fresh air. The way she implemented so many genres into one album is nice. You can feel the hip-hop vibes, the cabaret, the jazz influences, the swing, the waltz,the blues, the classic influences, and of course...those catchy pop hooks. Think Norah Jones, Alicia Keyes, Eric Clapton, The Dresden Dolls, all thrown into a blender, mutated, and then injected with the unique flare of Fiona Apple herself and then you have the sound she presents here.

She's a songwriter at her highest peak, and it has me very excited for what is to come out of her. This is her breakthrough album, and a breakout from her great but rather formulated success of the past. She has matured, set herself apart, and thrust herself towards potential critical acclaim. The future looks even brighter for this young girl. Let the beauty unfold, and watch this artist grow and catapult towards the stratosphere. This is one of the few things right for pop music in this day and age.

Recent reviews by this author
Between the Buried and Me The Great MisdirectDevendra Banhart What Will We Be
The Swell Season Strict JoyThe Swell Season Once: Music From The Motion Picture
Katy Perry One of the BoysStolen Babies There Be Squabbles Ahead
user ratings (199)

Comments:Add a Comment 
"Freshly Baked"
April 11th 2006


It's about time someone reviewed this.

This album is a little overrated, but it was the talk to win a grammy (Which doesn't mean anythjing IMO)

PRetty nice album, I preferred Tidal better.

The Jungler
April 11th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, I was waiting for an Apple review. This CD is quite good. I love "Oh Sailor".

Two-Headed Boy
April 11th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

This is a very good cd. I must say, nice review.

May 1st 2006


This is a great album. "Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)" is the only song that I don't like.

The Jungler
May 1st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Tymps is fairly bad IMO.

May 1st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. I like this album's alot more daring and experimental in many ways, and very well done.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 21st 2006


This is currently one of my favorite albums. Her videos also are usually pretty interesting to watch. Good times.

September 10th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

awesome, awesome cd. i like most of the songs, and like that there are a lot of different kinds. they don't all sound the same. my favorite is the title track.

September 23rd 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Her best work for sure!

January 8th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic album. I loved "Tidal" and was disappointed with "When the Pawn" so I came to the conclusion that Apple was a one-album wonder.

I don't know why I bought this one. I certainly had no expectations. Turns out I like it even more than Tidal!

December 10th 2010


Album Rating: 4.0

I actually dont like Tidal, But LOVE when the pawn, this one is on the middle.

good review, good album


April 7th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

the demo version is where it's at

August 21st 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

I'm thinking this is Fiona's best album, even over Idler Wheel! :o

Digging: RATKING - 700 Fill

You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile


Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Site Copyright 2005-2014
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy