October 10, 2005
Now If Only Gladwell Would Start One
Addendum: I love it because of incisive thoughts like this one, from his latest column —
The catchy chorus [of Fiona Apple’s song “Extraordinary Machine”] is a warning to those (her fans included) who underestimate her resilience: ďBe kind to me, or treat me mean. / Iíll make the most of it, Iím an extraordinary machine.Ē As she completes the phrase, her voice leaps girlishly into her upper register, and itís as if she were gripping your arm so firmly that you could feel her nails dig into your skin.
When I first read this, I thought, “Hmm, that’s not how I hear that chorus.” But upon re-listening, Frere-Jones’ remark struck me as totally apt. Even if that’s still not exactly how I hear it, SFJ has evocatively communicated how he hears it, which is a rare and valuable gift for a critic to have.