Why is Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Playful and orchestral, bombastic and pulsing, trippy and sultry.
What does Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
Ever since Fiona Apple’s debut album, Tidal, came out in 1996, I’ve been blown away by how good she is as a singer songwriter, as a performer and vocalist, and how great the production and arrangements are on her songs. She’s in that small group of artists and bands for me where it’s really rare if ever that I flat out don’t like one of her songs.
Listening to the terrific “Get Him Back,” I’m struck by what a journey Apple takes us on, both lyrically and musically. The production and piano are bombastic and pulsing and could easily be the backdrop to a booming hip hop song. Instead, we get Apple’s tremendous, sultry voice telling us about a breakup or broken relationship of some sort, with evocative lyrics about betrayal and passion and anger and even revenge.
So wait ’til I get him back
He won’t have a back to scratch
Yeah, keep turning that chin
And you will see my face
As I figure how to kill what I cannot catch
“Please Please Please” has something of a Brian Wilson Smile (#390 of best 1,000 albums ever) era effect that is both really effective and slightly off putting, giving the song a slightly trippy quality while Apple vocally delivers another exceptional performance.
The title track, “Extraordinary Machine,” has a playful, orchestral quality. It’s a really pleasing song and noteworthy that Apple’s vocal register shows range here at times that she doesn’t display very often. It’s the variety on Extraordinary Machine the album that overall is so compelling and greatly rewards repeat listens.
Some stats & info about Fiona Apple – Extraordinary Machine
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Pop, Pop Music, Alternative Pop, Singer Songwriter, Alternative Singer Songwriter
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #444
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Extraordinary Machine released? 2005
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #755 out of 1,000
Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.