Review 5++: Andrew Bird (Part 3 and it’s not gonna end soon…)

Posted on August 21, 2011


The road is lonnnngggg.....

… which is maybe a good thing because I get to put up more of my lomo pics.

OK: Weather Systems.

The cutely-titled first song, “First Song”, kicks off with wistful whistling and a slow, folksy, acoustic-heavy sound. I like how gentle but full-bodied he sounds here.

The next track is comedically macabre with shades of sleaze, sort of like Dick Tracy skulking around a foggy London at dusk to the soundtrack of 1980s porn.

And next things get simple, but quite smart. Andy sings a pretty stripped-down melody to the unusual accompaniment of (snare?) drums and interesting keyboards that trip along and carry the song alongside his vocals.

The rest of the album is quite vocal-focal, with many songs emptied of accoutrements, allowing Andrew Bird’s rich tenor to lead the march. This is not to say that that instrumentals were neglected – the interesting mix of instruments and the frequent disconnects between the song’s melody and the instruments employed are simply delightful. Andrew taps into different themes; dances between genres even within the same track. “Weather Systems”, for example, sounds like a concert in itself. There’s even one all-instrument jazz number (that included a wolf whistle) amidst the dancing keyboards, “Skin”.

The Mysterious Production of Eggs is more of the same goodness. Maybe more catchy. Bit of country. Much folk. Sounds like Jack Johnson. More acoustic guitars. Charmingly quirky lyrics. “Nervous tic motion of the head to the left… splayed out on the bathmat.” I don’t care what Andrew Bird looks like right now; I wanna jump him. This is man+guitar= YES.

But a couple of tunes later things get a bit staid and some of the mix-ups don’t quite work so magically. Maybe the bar was set too high in the previous albums. A few more songs down, I can feel the magic fading. Oh no. It’s not that the songs are bad, or even uninteresting – it’s that they don’t exactly distinguish themselves from each other.

Or maybe I’m just feeling bummed because I’m leaving the sunny tropics for the not so sunny northern lands. Aish.

ciao bella

Posted in: Andrew Bird