Fiona Apple -《Extraordinary Machine》(Extraordinary Machine)[MP3!]

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  • 时间: 2005/10/04 14:06:32 发布 | 2005/10/04 14:06:32 更新
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专辑英文名Extraordinary Machine
专辑中文名Extraordinary Machine
歌手Fiona Apple

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1996年推出处女大碟《Tidal》便卖个满堂红的Fiona Apple,也许从来没有想过新专辑会因为“缺少能够在电台热播的单曲”的原因而被唱片公司无限期搁置,本专辑从03年录制完成,经过了乐迷声讨Sony及歌曲意外泄露等事件之后,才终于等来了正式发行的日子。
Fiona Apple从来都是如此惊世骇俗,尽管她的外形条件完全适合于走大众商业路线,但她总是有意无意地与主流划清界限。

 新专辑收录了《Not About Love》等11首作品。依然是以钢琴进行叙事,融合了不少弦乐,并削减了上一张《When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King》之中的电子合成声效。曾有过遭受性侵犯的经历,她所抒发疼痛与怨愤的方式,却不同于PJ Harvey拼尽全力的叫喊,亦不同于Tori Amos偏于浪漫主义的修饰,她总是能够在听似平淡的语气中,倾泻出浓烈的情绪,而这一回,依然是她真实性情的表达.

Following the tour of her 1999 album When the Pawn in 2000, Fiona Apple relocated to Los Angeles. "The first couple of years [after Pawn], I didn't have anything left in me to write about...I just figured if the songs came to me, they came to me, and if not, 'Oh, well, it's been fun'", she said. Apple then contemplated retiring from recording following harsh experiences with the highly competitive music industry over the years. In the spring of 2002, Apple and Jon Brion, her longtime friend and producer on When the Pawn, met for their weekly lunch meeting. "Please, please make another album," begged Brion, whose five-year relationship with comedienne Mary Lynn Rajskub had abruptly ended during the shooting of her film Punch-Drunk Love (2002), which Brion was scoring. After being forced to watch hours of footage of Rajskub while working on the film, Brion told Apple, "I need work that can save me." Apple agreed, and Brion went to Apple's label, Epic Records (a division of Sony Music), with strict stipulations (including no deadline), which the label eventually agreed to. A tentative November 2002 release date was then set.

After performing the then-untitled "Not About Love" at one of Brion's live concerts on February 22, Apple started studio work on the album the following June at Ocean Way (a studio once favoured by Frank Sinatra), where she played for Brion the first five songs she had written for the album. A recording of the unreleased Brad Mehldau collaboration "Blue Skies" was played from a sound booth at Cafe Largo—where Brion has a regular Friday-night gig, often joined by musical friends—later that month, and she debuted the song "A New Version of Me" (later renamed "Better", and then "Better Version Of Me") live at Largo on August 2. Performed solo at the piano, one fan present described it as a "very fast, angry song". A reworked version of the song was performed at Largo on September 13 (Apple's twenty-fifth birthday), and Apple was joined by Brion on the celeste.

By late 2002, Apple, Brion, engineer Tom Biller, and percussionist Matt Chamberlain were at work in a wing of The Paramour, a mansion built in 1923 by silent film star Antonio Moreno, and the four used the building as a temporary residence from early 2003. Chamberlain said the experience of recording at the Paramour was "completely amazing", though production had been halted at one point whilst Apple received medical treatment for a dog bite on her arm. In April 2003, with the album half complete, Brion, Apple and Biller worked with assistant Steven Rhodes at Cello Studios, and a new release date of July 22 was announced. Brion and Apple then travelled to England later that month, to record strings and orchestration for the songs at Abbey Road Studios in London. The album was completed, from Brion's perspective, by May 2003, at which point the release was pushed back to September 30. However, by the fall of 2003, Apple and Brion were back in the recording studio adding finishing touches to the album, thus forcing back the release date to February 2004 (this was later changed to "early 2004").

Little by little, small details about the songs were revealed through newspaper and magazine articles. A New York Times article on Jon Brion in August 2003 revealed the title of another song on the album, "Oh Well", with Brion stating that he cried the first time he heard Apple play it. Brion worked solidly on "Oh Well" for over a week, toying with basic guitar and drum tracks, before enlisting session drummer Jim Keltner for help, and later (at the Abbey Road sessions), asking violinist Eric Gorfain to compose an arrangement. Said Brion at Abbey Road, "I can't figure it out...Every album has a problem child. Maybe I want it to be a lawyer, when it wants to be a painter." The October 2003 issue of Rolling Stone depicted the album as being "all over the place" (a sentiment shared by Apple herself) and "definitely eclectic". The slow-paced track "Extraordinary" was referred to as "a Tin Pan Alley-esque blend of Tom Waits and Vaudeville", while the much more energetic "Better" was described as "an Outkast-like deluge of beats". In February 2004, an article in Spin magazine confirmed the title of the album, as well as a new song title, "Red, Red, Red", which had reportedly been inspired by a book about optical illusions.

In late June 2004, the song "Extraordinary", which had since been retitled as the title track, was leaked onto the internet. Soon after, a "rough mix" of "Better Version Of Me" also leaked, with the following inscription listed as a comment in the properties of the MP3 file: "It has some good bits, but I still think we never have topped the second version. Ideally, we would combine some of this with that, but obviously we can't. Sigh. Ask the others what they think - I know she was partial to both of them, particularly the second". Josh Korr of the Tampa Bay Times wrote, "With a playfulness and penchant for odd sounds and instruments that channel the spirit of Brian Wilson's Smile, Apple's first songs since 1999 make Norah Jones, Joss Stone, Alicia Keys and other pretenders sound like American Idol rejects", while Entertainment Weekly called the songs "tantalizing, brazenly eccentric art pop...With Apple, the weirder, the better."

After months of no official news, an article about Jon Brion appeared in the October 8, 2004 issue of Entertainment Weekly. It revealed that the album had been shelved since its completion in 2003 due to "the label not hearing any obvious singles"; a representative for Epic Records, however, stated that the album was to be released in February 2005, and had been delayed because Apple had decided to re-record some of the songs. Brion later clarified the status of the album in an interview with MTV News in January 2005: "The record company wants 'Criminal' junior [from Tidal] and Fiona doesn't offer that up...[Machine]'s just not the obvious easy sell to them."Apple herself was spotted by a reporter for USA Today at an Inauguration Day event that month, and when asked about when the album would be released, she said "You'll probably know before I do."

Shortly thereafter, members of the forum fionahaswings.com started a movement for an international, week-long mail campaign to flood Sony with support for Apple and for the release of the album. A website devoted to the campaign, freefiona.com, was created. In response to the campaign, Epic president Steve Barnett said, "It's our understanding that Fiona is still in the midst of recording her next album, and we at Epic Records join music lovers everywhere in eagerly anticipating her next release."

One of many fan-made album covers created after Extraordinary Machine's inevitable leak.On February 26, 2005, radio DJ Andrew Harms at 107.7 The End in Seattle received a bootleg copy of the album and began playing previously unheard tracks. Poor quality copies of the songs played on the radio, and before long, the tracks "Not About Love," "Get Him Back," and "Used To Love Him" were circulating on the internet. Of the situation, Harms said, "this is pretty special...with an established [artist] like Fiona, to have that happen is pretty crazy, so to stumble upon a full-length copy of the record was incredible." He also noted, "Half the people that heard it loved it...the other half of people who called and commented said they liked it. They weren't necessarily fans, but they just liked that we were stepping up, supporting a good artist and playing the songs."Ironically, Brion had stated to MTV News the previous month, "Eventually [Machine] will come out. People who do understand her and get what she's about are going to be thrilled. Is all this going make radio play it? Probably not. Does she care? No."

Blender, in its May 2005 issue, included "Used To Love Him" on their list of "20 Songs You Should Download This Month". By early March 2005, radio recordings of "Waltz", "Please, Please, Please", "Oh, Sailor" and "Window" had surfaced; and later, better quality album cuts of "Oh Well" and "Red, Red, Red" had leaked online. Soon after, CD-quality versions of all the tracks were released through the BitTorrent website TorrentBox, and received a positive review from the New York Times, who described the album as "an oddball gem", adding "Had it been released, Extraordinary Machine would have been a fine counterbalance to a pop moment full of monolithic, self-righteous sincerity."Ed Bumgardner concurred, saying the album was "certainly a work of daring and sophistication, as wildly imaginative as it is entertaining", while Will Dukes said "Extraordinary Machine flaunts a quirky, cold-world cohesiveness that's as inviting as it is alienating."Nevertheless, despite the positive press, Epic and Apple declined to respond. The Recording Industry Association of America later contacted webmasters of sites hosting the files and asked them to be taken down, while the BitTorrent files subsequently vanished from the TorrentBox website.

Entertainment Weekly reported in its June 24, 2005 issue that Apple was preparing work on a "second third" album with producer Brian Kehew of the electronica band Moog Cookbook, further fueling speculation among fans that the leaked Machine tracks had been shelved indefinitely. An unconfirmed July 2005 online chat, little noticed at the time, with hip-hop musician ?uestlove on a website devoted to The Roots indicated the album was "not cancelled", was in production with Mike Elizondo, and would be a DualDisc, all of which were later confirmed as true

Early album cover art.After months of silence, Epic abruptly released a statement regarding the album's future on August 15, 2005: Apple's Extraordinary Machine was to be officially released on October 4, 2005, extensively reworked by co-producers Elizondo and Kehew. Elizondo had played bass on two When the Pawn tracks, but was better known for his production work with popular hip-hop artists such as 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Eminem, and had been described as "a curious departure from Brion" by a reporter for the Associated Press. Working at the Phantom Studio, located behind Elizondo's Westlake Village home, he and Kehew began to rework each song, track by track, building from Apple's piano and vocals, adding live drums with the help of Abe Laboriel Jr. and ?uestlove, and then synthesizer flourishes. Once the song frameworks had been completed, Apple returned to the studio and recorded final performances.

Of the eleven tracks previously leaked, two remained unchanged: "Extraordinary Machine" and "Waltz"; but nine were completely rearranged. One new song, "Parting Gift", was also included on the album; it is a solo vocal piece with piano that was recorded on the first take. According to Elizondo, most of the tracks sound "radically different", and even though he listened to Brion's version, "Everything was done from scratch." The New York Times suggested that Epic Records was not impressed with fan interest in the bootleg, and that Apple never considered the album finished; but by the time of the leak, she and Elizondo had been at work for some time (since April 2004). In an interview with Rolling Stone in September 2005, Apple explained her decision: "I gathered scraps for songs, and I ended up writing the rest on the way, a totally new approach for me...I didn't have enough time to live with the songs before recording them, so I really didn't know what I wanted."

Speaking with Billboard, Elizondo acknowledged that it was "a little disheartening" to be working with the knowledge that Brion's version was available to the public, but applauded Apple's "amazing core of fans" for their efforts to have the album released: "The way they interpreted it was, the label isn't putting out her record, so we're going to do it for her. That's very admirable." However, he defended Apple's decision to press on until the album reached the finished state that she had envisioned. He also expressed interest in joining Apple on a live tour to promote the album, saying "there are no performances set in stone...it will be a lot of fun."

On the day of the announcement, the label placed "O' Sailor" for streaming on Apple's MySpace site, and streamed both "O' Sailor" and "Parting Gift" on Apple's official website. The following day, both songs were made available as a bundle download at the online iTunes Music Store. Rob Rabiee of The Village Broadsheet called "Parting Gift" a "fine piano ballad...the song is well-executed", but referred to the new "O' Sailor" as a "flat, one-tone production", remarking that he felt that it had "a rushed feeling". On Apple's official site, behind-the-scenes footage and music videos were put up weekly in the run-up to the album's release. These videos were included on the DVD side of the album DualDisc, along with recordings of five of Apple's live performances at Largo. The entire album was made available for streaming at MySpace on September 27.

Despite rumors that the album had caused a rift between Brion and Apple, they performed together at Largo the Friday evening before Epic's announcement. Brion told MTV News, "She re-recorded a bunch of stuff, but whatever, that's her business. I remain a fan and think she's great, and she shouldn't have to meet too much resistance"; Elizondo, meanwhile, insisted Brion was "cool on all fronts" about the proposed re-recording. Brion, however, struck out at the bootleg version of the album: "It's wrong...I don't like those versions. It's stuff that doesn't reflect what we recorded, for the most part."



01.Extraordinary Machine
02.Get Him Back
03.O Sailor
04.Better Version Of Me
06.Parting Gift
08.Oh Well
09.Please Please Please
10.Red Red Red
11.Not About Love

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