The First Track

What You Should Be Hearing

Andrew Bird’s Noble Beast, Folked Up


andrew_bird-noble_beast-special_edition1Andrew Bird plays the kind of music you know you should be into. It’s different enough that it doesn’t seem to be trying to be different. It does this effortlessly and eloquently. As the first few tracks of Noble Beast hit your speakers you’d be correct to confuse it with the soundtrack from some long lost Wes Anderson film, it has an indie, chamber folk breeziness to it that bands like The Shins have been so successful with.

Bird has never been one to dumb down his lyrics, and he speaks with all the verbiage and length of a college man (Northwestern being Bird’s alma mater). His lyrics add a uniqueness and eloquence that few other musicians do effectively.

The first half of Noble Beast delves into different facets of Bird’s sound, from the Spanish influences of Masterswarm to the almost electronica interpretations of Not a Robot But a Ghost. But overall, many of the tracks on Noble Beast might be difficult to discern from one another. It is apparent that Bird has a firm grasp on what his sound is, but perhaps not how to manipulate that sound into truly diverse and unique areas.

144x600featoldtownandrewbirdOne of the benefits of Bird’s formal music education is his ability to change the progressions away from the typical verse, chorus, verse mantra that has become so  pervasive within the indie scene. Bird has chosen to take this into a style that could be described as “mini movements” within song like Anonanimal and Souverian (Think Queen, not in sound, but in composition). The idea is good, but the execution has pitfalls, and in some songs Bird doesn’t get it quite right, with transitions that lack continuity to the track as a whole. 

By the end of the album, you realize you got what you expected. Its Andrew Bird. There are some interesting directions in Noble Beast musically, but not emotionally. Good songs convey an emotion, great songs make you feel.

Rating 6/10

Tracks To GrabNot a Robot, But a Ghost. Masterswarm. Oh No.

Buy this Album?   Get the singles.

For more information on Andrew Bird, including streaming tracks from Noble Beast, visit Andrew Bird on Myspace or pick up a hard copy from Amazon.


January 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment