Friday, 12 December 2008

Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Andrew Bird's latest album - Noble Beast - is due for release in January on Fat Possum, I've played it a couple of times this morning & have enjoyed it all.

Opening with 'Oh No' - muted strings & gentle guitar picking lead into yes, whistling; and you know right away it's Andrew Bird. Were there any doubt, lines like ...it would take a calculated blow to the head to light the eyes of all the harmless sociopaths... laid over such sweet harmonies and exquisite arrangements could only come from one man, right?.
'Masterswarm' sets a more sombre tone initially, picking up the mood & rhythm about a minute in, Bird's violin evoking both lead guitar & theremin over a jazzy backing of handclap-like sounds, double bass & pizzicato strings. 'Fitz & the Dizzy Spells' fairly rocks along by comparison; more the tone of Fiery Crash even if a rather different sounding song - a good choice for a single I'd say.
'Effigy', like a number of tracks, has an instrumental intro quite in contrast to the rest of the song; by about 1:10 it's a lovely simple arrangement of acoustic guitar strums, some fine counter-point and simple vocal harmonies. Not such an obviously Andrew Bird one; but a really fine song, one of my favourites from the album.
'Not a Robot,But a Ghost' stands out for me - it's almost like a dance-remix of itself, combining woodwind, distorted percussion and some ace hooks as well as Andrew's distinctive voice & strings over a pretty up-tempo beat.

I reckon this'll reward many repeat listens - the production is spot-on and every song has earnt its place. 
listen to:
Carrion Suite - from the Useless Creatures CD
both above are high quality streams from AndrewBird.net



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