Bird, Andrew / Are You Serious
Album: Are You Serious   Collection:General
Artist:Bird, Andrew   Added:Apr 2016
Label:Loma Vista  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2016-04-18 Pull Date: 2016-06-19
Week Ending: Jun 19 Jun 12 Jun 5 May 29 May 22 May 15 May 8 May 1
Airplays: 2 1 4 4 3 4 2 2

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Album Review
Francis D
Reviewed 2016-04-14
“Are You Serious” Andrew Bird
Andrew Bird may be an acquired taste. A remarkably gifted singer-songwriter, his preferred instrument is the violin/fiddle — which he bows, plucks and strums. He’s also a world-class whistler and highly proficient at looping to create fully orchestrated arrangements by himself. His exceptional musicianship has at times made him seem aloof and serious. In his first full-length album in almost four years, he tackles those labels head-on. It helps that during this period of time, he has married and had a son. This change in perspective has resulted in one of Bird’s most creative, but also quite grounded works in some time. It’s all excellent folk-rock (with some other flavors mixed in) — but of course with Bird’s unique musical touches.
— Francis

Recommended: 2, 4, 7, 3, 6, 9, 1. No FCCs detected.

1. (3:41) Capsized — Infectious, R&B-influenced groove. Sounds remarkably like “Use Me,” a Bill Withers song from 1972. Precise drumming and synth trimmings. ***
2. (4:03) Roma Fade — Opens with whistling and plucking. Then, becomes a bright, up-tempo pop-rock song with a string-laden melody. Tells the story of when Bird met his wife. ****
3. (5:29) Truth Lies Low — Wistful, slightly jazzy composition with a two-minute instrumental trail-out that enables Bird to show off his extraordinary musical gifts. ***
4. (3:31) Puma — A quirky and personal song remembering a time when his wife was dealing with a health issue (which turned out okay). His wife said something about hoping that doctors wouldn’t discover she’s a girl, and not a puma. Lots of intricate guitar parts, mandolin, and plucked strings. ****
5. (3:23) Chemical Switches — Introspective and sweet. Fingerpicked guitar. Whistling. Strings in the background.
6. (3:15) Left Handed Kisses — Raw duet with Fiona Apple. Old-fashioned love song. Strummed guitar. Tubular bells. Classical-sounding lead break. ***
7. (3:39) Are You Serious — Tongue-in-cheek, self-critical lyrics. Pokes fun at his “too serious” persona. Plucked and bowed violin. Guitars. Synths. ***
8. (3:49) Saints Preservus — Fascinating, classical harmonized whistling intro. Sometimes jazzy or free-form, sometimes Americana-leaning. Nice violin lead break.
9. (4:11) The New Saint Jude — Bouncy and fun tune. Lots of plucking on high notes. Tempo shift in middle. A nod to Paul Simon, both musically and lyrically. “Ever since I gave up hope/I’m feeling so much better.” ***
10. (5:34) Valleys of the Young — Electric guitar- and banjo-driven folk-rock in sections. Builds to big sound several times. Mentions Bird and his wife having a son.
11. (2:05) Bellevue — Short, uplifting closer with minimal lyrics and multiple layers of plucked and bowed violins — backed by strings.

Track Listing
1. Capsized   6. Left Handed Kisses
2. Roma Fade   7. Are You Serious
3. Truth Lies Low   8. Saints Preservus
4. Puma   9. The New Saint Jude
5. Chemical Switches   10. Valleys Of The Young
  11. Bellevue