Andrew bird –Armchair Apocrypha

There is never a shortage of singer song writers and at times you can feel a little snowed under. With mediocre records of late from the like of Rice, Badly Drawn Boy, David Gray, McRae etc it is nice to discover a new gem, ladies and gents I give you Andrew Bird. Although this is his third album and allegedly not his best it’s still great. One of the reasons that Andrew stands out is it sounds like he is not afraid to take chances employing a vast array of instruments on each song without cluttering them. He sounds like Radiohead and Stephen Fretwell with pinches of Papa M and Devandra Bernhart. Lyrically expressive he’s also not afraid of words and weaves them in and around the music creating lush tapestries for your ears, some parts so delicate you won’t hear them on first listen, but go deeper and the rich layers with come out. Especially on seven minute album centrepiece ‘armchairs’ which despite its dodgy title is exquisite and eerie all at once. His voice contains hints of a sadly missed Jeff Buckley as he soars over the building crescendo of instruments. ‘Dark matters’ talks of ‘my morbid fascination, with operation’ adding the line ‘you have to have a steady hand’ which leads me to believe he’s singing about the popular children’s buzzing game, but no matter how bizarre it gets it always stays the right side of brilliant. And in a world swamped with solo singers you might like to give Andrew Bird a try he has an edge that puts him just in front of so many others.

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