“Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple (2005)

Remember the whole “free Fiona” campaign? I’d completely forgotten about it until I went to do some research for this entry. A quick summary: it was rumored that Fiona’s record company was holding out on the singer/songwriter’s long-anticipated third album because it wasn’t “commercial enough”. Once songs began to leak, fans began to clamor for the album’s release.

I mean, whatever. Fiona has never been an especially commercial artist, so I’m not totally sure I buy that. While certainly frustrated that I had to wait as long as I did for Extraordinary Machine‘s release, I wasn’t at all disappointed with the final product. I was hooked from the minute I heard the first track on the CD, which also happened to be the title cut.

“Extraordinary Machine” is quirky, silly, obtuse, playful, defiant and adamant all at the same time. It’s a perfect encapsulation of Fiona’s personality. More than anything, it’s a clever declaration of independence. It’s also very likely a warning shot towards anyone who viewed Fiona as a delicate flower or a train wreck in progress. “I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine!”

Yes you are, Fiona.

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