Andrew Bird's new album, Noble Beast was released on January 20, 2009 (My birthday!) and I wrote a review of the record a couple of days ago and I decided to share it with you. Read the review below and enjoy!
During the last week of March 2008, while recording his new album, Noble Beast, Andrew described on his blog on the New York Times website what he desired the album to sound like, "The record I want to make here and now -- the one I wish I could find in my local record store -- is a gentle, lulling, poly-rhythmic, minimalist yet warm tapestry of acoustic instruments. No solos, just interlocking parts. A little Steve Reich, but groovier. A little Ghanaian street music, but more arranged. Thick and creamy vocals like the Zombies's Colin Blunstone. The bass warm and tubby like Studio One dub." After hearing Noble Beast, which can only be described as an airy, relaxed symphony, listeners will discover that Bird achieved his goal of creating the record he envisioned.
Noble Beast is a laid back album, with a style that paints a picture in the listener's mind that is similar to the peaceful, sunny landscape found on the album's cover. The Chicago-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and violinist, Andrew Bird, has completed six albums so far in his musical career and each record has had at least a slight change in genre and style. His early works include gypsy jazz, traditional folk and other genres. His latest creation, Noble Beast, released on January 20, 2008, combines these unique sounds. It also introduces more complex combinations of instruments, interlocking melodies and frequent, energetic whistling.
The songs on the album vary from enthusiastic and easygoing, to operatic and mellow. The first song on the album, "Oh No", opens with a lilting string section and a few plucks of a the strings of an acoustic guitar. The sound of the two instruments suggests that the track will be somber, but Bird's chipper whistling slides in, bringing with it a happier, spirited tone. This back and forth between the darker and lighter sounds continues throughout all of the songs on the album. This creates the effect that Noble Beast is really just one song that is 54 minutes long.
Andrew Bird proves to be a skilled musician, perfectly constructing his music so that it paints a picture in the listener's mind and makes the sound of many melodies flow together. For fans of folk pop, Bird's latest creation is sure to please. People who prefer loud and fast music might find the album unsatisfying or boring. In some instances, Noble Beast can be an enjoyable album for all. If anyone, no matter what type of music they prefer, wants to relax or hear something that will brighten their day, Noble Beast is for them.
I found a video that perfectly explains what I hope I conveyed in the review about everything in his music just sliding, combining, merging, and fusing together. Check it out, it's got a really great sound.