Sunday, June 26, 2005

When There Was Something Left To Save:

Some thoughts on Fiona Apple's (now abandoned) Extraordinary Machine

I've been, like, afraid to try and talk about this album, actually. It's just such a different, frustrating, and ultimatley difficult album to love.

I absolutely adore, "Not About Love." Both musically and lyrically(what with her suffering from a small case of writer's block towards the front end of the track) it is a perfect thesis for the album. I actually find it to be one of her most engaging and perfectly executed songs...ever.

But as things progress I think EM only proves to be top heavy, with these really mucky attempts at eccentric resonance grouping together at the tail end, and maybe a few earnest outings being found at the front.

Perhaps some of the more glaring production mishaps are due to the fact that I downloaded an unfinished album, but songs like the title track as well as, "Window" just sound bad to me. I don't even understand why she thought they sounded good. In theory they work, I suppose.


Despite the fact that the album may be to ambitious for it's own good, and it would appear that the would-be "narrative" (I'll call it) holding the album together seems to dissipate before the end; it is an unforegettable experience that has proven to be worth my time.

It's just so MANY THINGS. It's quirky, it's oddly charming, it's gut wrenching, it's touching, it's (sometimes) curiously bad without being overtly disastrous. It is simply one of the most unique albums I have ever heard.

She seems to have had a vision to start with, and it would appear that she got rid of it along the way. But, in the end, you can't deny the (semi) finished work's lingering affects.

I don't even know if that just made sense!

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