Monday, November 26, 2012

#128: Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (2005)

My love for her music is unique to any other musician. Granted, Apple has her faults just like everyone else but maybe we all need to be a bit more like her. She recently cancelled her South America tour to be with her dying dog. She said, "Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes to pick which socks to wear to bed, but this decision is instant... I am not the woman who puts her career ahead of love and friendship. I'm the woman who stays home and bakes tilapia for my dearest, oldest friend."

Extraordinary Machine
She's absolutely brilliant. There's really no other way to say it, she's among the absolute bests in my generation. It's a shame she doesn't get the true recognition that she deserves. The music is exquisite, the lyrics are witty, and the melody is beautiful. It creates a very machine-like feeling and yet it's very big and boastful without overstating. It's an amazing orchestration of horns, flutes, bass, bells, and strings.

Better Version of Me
It features a very gritty, dirty piano part with some kickin' drums, and a low dirty bass. That's probably the best adjective for this song: dirty. Even the horns and organ are rough. What I'm amazed by is how much is going on and yet there's so much sonic space for Apple's voice. No instrument steps on another's toes and it flows incredibly well. However, it's the bridge that does it for me. I love bridges that are so completely different from the rest of the song and yet fit perfectly. "Here it comes, a better version of me."

Not About Love
When she performed this live it was an absolute stunner. It was the best birthday week I've ever had and even with a Cincinnati Reds play off game in the mix, Apple still was the brightest spot of the week. I absolutely adore the anger and the brokenness on the chorus. While I love the recording, the band and Fiona absolutely killed it live. The song is a mish-mash of emotions and ideas and much like most of Apple's songs it somehow works perfectly together.

All in all, it's a solid record. How could it not be? After being floored by some of her lyrics on her most recent album, "The Idler Wheel..." I focused a little more on the lyrics this time around. Songs I enjoyed but didn't love took on a whole new meaning and perspective (see: Parting Gift). Then there were some songs that I just couldn't get over the beauty of the arrangement (see: Waltz (Better Than Fine)). I think she's getting better and better with age and she's one of the few artists I truly hope never, ever stops recording.

No comments:

Post a Comment