Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Music Year #2

When I think of Andrew Bird, I think of plucked strings, violin, and whistling. On the first track of Noble Beast ("Oh No"), you get all three and you also get melody, another Birdian trait. You also get some intriguing lyrics - in this case, "Arm in arm we are the hopeless sociopaths." Indeed. That opener also give you a pretty good indication of what you're going to get on the whole record, which is not to say that every song sounds the same. Rather, these elements are his strengths and he weaves them throughout time and mood shifts in his songs; one example is "Anonanimal," which starts out with the sweeping strings and starts layering in sounds before opening up into a rockier style of drums and guitar. "Masterswarm" dissolves into video game-like blips and clicks after starting with an introductory passage followed by a lightly bouncing rhythm accompanying the violin. There is also the "pop hit" of "Fitz and the Dizzyspells."

I admire Bird quite a bit and I enjoy this album (and his previous one, Armchair Apocrypha) when I listen to them but I don't always reach for them. I don't often have his songs running through my head either, though they have a bit more after listening to this album in preparation for this post. If you like music that can make you think while also entertaining, this album is for you.

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