It’s quite the coincidence that Andrew Bird flew in and landed in our Top 20 a few days after his show at Foellinger Auditorium, but we promise, this isn’t a setup. Bird’s latest effort Noble Beast inspires listeners with more of a summery feel to the tracks on this album, opposed to his previous records.
On Beast, we find Bird’s instrumentals to be top-notch and really recreating what he is known for: looping and plucking violin tracks, Bird’s soft and soothing vocals, and yes, whistling. The opening track “Oh No” shows this right away as well as the inspiration of an upset child on a plane saying “Oh no…” as Bird sings “Let’s get out of here/past the atmosphere/Just squint your eyes/and no one dies or goes to jail”, as well as other highlights of the first half of the album with “Fitz & the Dizyspells” and “Effigy”.
Although Bird’s musicianship is top notch, you can’t help but recognized the complexity of his lyrics. “Tenuous at best was all he had to say/When pressed about the rest of it, the world that is/From proto-Sanskrit Minoans to Porto-centric Lisboans/Greek Cypriots and and harbor sorts who hang around in ports a lot” Bird sings in “Tenuousness”. The album creates a warm feeling for the listener throughout and displays some impressive breakdowns in “Anoanimal” as well as the blissfully-simple “The Privateers”.
Bird’s consistency throughout his career and constantly reinventing himself with just a violin and the ability to choreograph the numerous parts of each of his songs to near-perfection. This unique ability to create this type of music heralds Bird as one of the most impressive musicians still creating music today and lands him in our Top 20 from 2009.
Here’s our countdown towards WPGU’s Album of the Year:
20. Jay-Z: The Blueprint 3
19. Manchester Orchestra: Mean Everything To Nothing
18. Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg
17. The Flaming Lips: Embryonic
16. Miike Snow: Miike Snow
15. Discovery: LP
14. Silversun Pickups: Swoon
13. Julian Casablancas: Phrazes for the Young
12. Andrew Bird: Noble Beast
#11 coming Friday…stay tuned!