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Extraordinary Machine

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iTunes Review

After a six-year official silence and turmoil surrounding the making of this album — she ultimately re-recorded it with a second producer, hip-hop specialist Mike Elizondo, taking over from Jon Brion — it's a pleasure and a surprise to find that Extraordinary Machine is ultimately Fiona Apple's best work yet. The arty textures of her previous work with Brion are hardly gone; the real news here is the charm and wry humor that now often accompany the singer/songwriter's musings about life and love. ("It ended bad, but I love what we started" is only one of a row of striking observations in "Parting Gift.") There are also powerful currents roiling beneath all this; she ends up smashing a (figurative?) "Window" rather than "him, or her, or me." Whether she intended to or not, Apple has raised the bar for everyone else with this work.

Customer Reviews

Don't Buy on iTunes

Do yourself a favor and buy the CD/DVD combo version of this album in stores. It's a great album, and for the same price, you can get a DVD of Fiona performing live and doing songs that are not available at all on iTunes. iTunes needs to get the DVD part of the album because it has some great Fiona performances on it.

Cant get over this record

While I appreciate the straightforward and raw qualities of Tidal, and the experimental and progessive attitudes of When the Pawn, Extraordinary Machine has proved to be one of those records you never take off your iPod and never ever forget. Apple has really shown growth as a songwriter in terms of her ability to pull back and let meaning be held in the things left unsaid. Where her past work is scathing and immediate, this album is more refined and nuanced. Though I must admit that I miss the production of Brion (the god of production in my opinion), her songs and voice do not suffer for it. Apple is stronger than Brion's production and I can't wait to see what else she will offer. If you are looking for something to wrap your head around and is equally powerful through headphones on a rainy day and some real speakers, try this album- you won't be let down.

Long Live Jon and Fiona

To all those who decry the Jon Brion version of this album I say: clean your ears or get a brain. This album is a popped up version of the Jon fiona collaboration and a weak one at that. The review says that the Brion version is too "artsy", translation: musical. The richness and texture of the Brion version of every song here is self evident. This is a shadow of an Extraordinary Machine. Don't drink the Sunny-D "Machine", get the Tropicana Pure Premium version, with "Lots of Pulp" to cure what ails you. Take it from one who has sampled it. The reviewer treats us like children who have no taste in music and does us a favor by lending us his/hers. Do take the time to develop your own. It is not too challenging to LISTEN to good music. Though it might be illegal, you might seek it out on the web to get a taste of the masterpiece. If not, you can buckle to the pressure and buy the watered down version here on I-Tunes (No offense Apple, its not your fault the record company won't release it).


Born: September 13, 1977 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Fiona Apple defied categorization or any easy career path, almost running the pattern in reverse, opening her career as a highly touted and popular alternative singer/songwriter, then transitioning into a cult artist. Apple certainly benefited from the open-door policy of modern rock in the mid-’90s, following the path of crossover alt-rock piano-based songwriters like Tori Amos, but Apple was hardly an Amos copycat: she had a strong jazz undertow in her vocal phrasing and melodies, she had richer...
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