Paper Bag (song)

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"Paper Bag"
Fiona Apple, Paper Bag.jpg
Single by Fiona Apple
from the album When the Pawn...
ReleasedNovember 21, 2000 (U.S.)
Recorded1999
GenreJazz[1]
Length3:40
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple singles chronology
"Fast as You Can"
(1999)
"Paper Bag"
(2000)
"Parting Gift"
(2005)

"Paper Bag" is a song by American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple, released as the third single from her second studio album, When the Pawn... (1999).[2][3] The song earned Apple a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the 43rd Grammy Awards (2001).

Background and composition[edit]

Apple wrote "Paper Bag" following an experience in which she mistook a plastic bag for a dove. The event took place in Los Angeles following recording sessions for her previous studio album, Tidal (1996); Apple, reportedly upset at the time, was a passenger in a car being driven by her father.[4]

Allmusic's Matthew Greenwald described "Paper Bag" as having a "loose, almost ragtime" melody and rhythm pattern, with an "up and down" chord pattern creating a "funky, looping feel".[3] The Record noted the "infectious" song includes "Beatlesesque horns".[5] The Boston Globe classified it as a "piano ditty" that "owes equally to Kurt Weill and Paul McCartney,"[6] while The Buffalo News noted that it "provides a more contemporary hip hop sound" than other songs on her album.[7]

Reception[edit]

Matthew Greenwald of Allmusic wrote that "Paper Bag" was one of the more accessible, "inspiring" tracks from the album. Greenwald appreciated Don Sweeney's horn arrangement, which he called "joyous".[3] In 2012, Bob Gendron of the Chicago Tribune opined, "A midst a backdrop of gently brushed drums, 'Paper Bag' highlighted an ugly tempestuousness at odds with its breezy cabaret melody."[8] In the "Rolling Stone Special Nineties Edition," the song was ranked as the 29th best song of the '90s.[9]

The song is considered a "fan favorite".[10][11] It earned Apple a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for the 43rd Grammy Awards (2001).[12]

Music video[edit]

Paul Thomas Anderson directed the music video for "Paper Bag", which features a blue-and-red palette.[13] Anderson and Apple were in a romantic relationship at the time.[14][15]

Usage in media[edit]

"Paper Bag" was featured in the 2006 film The Last Kiss[16] and the 2011 film Bridesmaids.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UNCUT (UK) - Mar 2000". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King..." Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Greenwald, Matthew. "Paper Bag". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  4. ^ Lee, Dan P. (June 17, 2012). "'I Just Want to Feel Everything': Hiding Out with Fiona Apple, Musical Hermit". Vulture. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Ivry, Bob (November 9, 1999). "Apple Sounds Alarm to Potential Lovers". The Record. North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved February 1, 2013. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Anderman, Joan (November 9, 1999). "Apple Wraps Intimacy, Agony in Lush Sound". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 1, 2013. (subscription required)
  7. ^ Violanti, Anthony (November 19, 1999). "Discs". The Buffalo News. Stanford Lipsey. Retrieved February 1, 2013. (subscription required)
  8. ^ Gendron, Bob (March 20, 2012). "Fiona Apple's intense comeback show riveting at Lincoln Hall". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  9. ^ Rolling Stone The Nineties Special Edition. The Rolling Stone. pp. 86–95.
  10. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Fiona Apple And Jon Brion, Sean Paul, Brooke Valentine, Incubus, Tommy Lee & More". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. August 22, 2005. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  11. ^ "Fiona Apple Receives Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy Nomination". Business Wire (Press release). December 8, 2005. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  12. ^ Reese, Lori (January 24, 2001). "Em Again: The staid Recording Academy courts controversy for their 43rd annual awards". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. ISSN 1049-0434. OCLC 21114137. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  13. ^ Wickman, Forrest (September 13, 2012). "The Minor Works of Paul Thomas Anderson". Slate. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  14. ^ Light, Alan (February 2000). "On a Wire". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. 16 (2): 64. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  15. ^ Cruz, Gilbert; Ebiri, Bilge (September 15, 2012). "The Master vs. Resident Evil: A Short Guide on How to Tell Paul Thomas Anderson and Paul W.S. Anderson Apart". Vulture. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  16. ^ "The Last Kiss (2006) Soundtrack". Soundtrack.net. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  17. ^ Davis, Edward (April 15, 2011). "'Bridesmaids' Soundtrack Features Fiona Apple, Inara George, Hole, Blondie & Wilson Phillips". IndieWire. Snagfilms. Retrieved February 1, 2013.