Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine (Epic/Sony Music) After six long years, a Free Fiona campaign, leaked tracks and a flurry of rumours, Fiona Apple's third album has finally arrived. And the final product stands up to the hype - it's a gem of relentless self-analysis, contradiction, anguish and hope. Apple and longtime producer Jon Brion finished the album in 2003, but for corporate and personal reasons the project was shelved. After fans created the website freefiona.com, urging followers to bombard Sony bosses with fake apples or 'anything apple themed', Apple enlisted the help of producer Mike Elizondo to transform the original into a work she was happy with. The result is extraordinary. Elizondo, who's best known for his work with Eminem, 50 Cent and Dr Dre, energises her tracks with woodwind and string instruments, brass, guitars, live drums and hip-hop beats. The plucked strings in O' Sailor make the loss of a failed relationship more plaintive, the crescendos in Oh Well turn Apple's disinterested self-examination into anger, and Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song) features a looped beat that keeps the mood light. Apple's emotional development and the artistry of her new producer make this album more mature than 1996's Tidal (which won her a Grammy at the age of 19) or When the Pawn ... from 1999. Her poetry, however, is as biting as ever. The opening and closing tracks are the originals produced by Brion. The title track is a quirky number that brings Judy Garland to mind and gives Apple the chance to flex her smoky voice to soprano heights. Extraordinary Machine is eclectic, energetic and uncompromising. As Apple sings in Please Please Please, 'My method is uncertain/ It's a mess, but it's working'.