The enchanting Fiona Apple has turned over a tricksy new musical leaf with the release of her latest album, Extraordinary Machine. The machine is she and extraordinary she is! Fiona’s music on this new album is no longer solely glum and gloomy like her previous public efforts. She now presents us with a sexy curiosity and a jaunting, lilting, melodic sense that is bright and blossoming in a dull Pop music world.
The tracks on her album I am now best enjoying are Window and Please Please Please but the top pop turnover song of all is the one for which the entire album is appropriately named: Extraordinary Machine because it jiggles and snakes and chimes in with spirit — with actual chimes!
The instant that song starts, the notes begin to tumble and float in mid-air and you are ensnared by the brassy syncopation of her luscious, lucid, smoldering and smoky voice. There are no drums on that song.
There are, however, plucked strings and woodwinds: It’s Fiona Apple Does Broadway on Steroids! That song is a curious mix of odd styles and conflicted intents and it works daringly well, but I can well imagine those who are unable to hear the genius in her, and in her song, and they would hate every note and fiber in each fine moment of the performance.
Fiona cannot worry about, or even acknowledge, the mediocrity surrounding her because mediocrity only recognizes itself while genius recognizes all.
Here’s a lyric sample from that song’s chorus and notice the delicious double rhyme in “find me” and “behind me” as further evidence of the quirky smarts beneath the structure of the melody:
If there was a better way to go then it would find me I can’t help it; the road just rolls out behind me Be kind to me or treat me mean I’ll make the most of it; I’m an extraordinary machine
Then, strangely, at one point in that song, Fiona goes into a bizarre and wonderful falsetto and sings the following in a ghostly, haunting manner that makes you laugh out loud:
Do I so worry you You need to hurry to my side, it’s very kind But it’s to no avail I don’t want the bail I promise you everything will be just fine
I challenge you to listen to that Extraordinary Machine track and not repeatedly sing, for the rest of the day, nay, the entirety of your life. “I’m an extraordinary machine” …because the melody sticks in you hard and stays with you softly always and that is forever the mark of a classic song and a superstar talent.
Fiona Apple is back, and while she still cuts, she now makes you chortle and grin while you bleed out. This Fiona Apple Turnover is well-done!