June 17, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT

Age 2

Mustworthiness The album boasts an intriguingly bizarro backstory: Fans accused Epic of shelving Apple’s avant-pop third effort in 2004 because there was no obvious single, prompting a passionate ”Free Fiona” campaign. Insiders, however, claimed Apple, 27, was unhappy with producer Jon Brion’s handiwork and bailed on delivering the goods. In the meantime, the unreleased Machine has Exxon Valdezed all over the Net and got some radio play.

Prime Cuts The cabaret-style title track and the exquisitely bouncy ”Better Version of Me.”

Next Apple is starting a second third album with producer Brian Kehew (Moog Cookbook). Electro-Apple? Now that’s extraordinary.

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