Noble Beast

Studio Album by released in 2009
Noble Beast's tracklist:
Oh No
Fitz and the Dizzyspells
Not a Robot, But a Ghost
Unfolding Fans
Natural Disaster
The Privateers
On Ho

Noble Beast review

The aesthete of the modern music Andrew Bird

American multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird was born and brought up in Chicago, Illinois. In his early age, he started to play the violin and got involved into the world of classical music due to this fact. Later, Andrew was interested in such genres as the national Irish music and bluegrass. All these fascinations consequently found their place in his personal style. Beside the violin, Bird is credited for his play on the guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel, but he is most known for his colorful whistling on the scene. Andrew graduated from the university and wrote his first album Music Of Hair, which drastically differs from his later releases. The artist decided to work in a group and centered the collective Bowl Of Fire around himself. However, in spite of the fact that the band included many famous Chicagoan musicians, Bowl Of Fire did not get much recognition and later Bird told that they had to perform for very small auditoriums. In winter 2002, Bird and his command were asked to play before the band that visited Chicago, but only Andrew managed to come for the concert. His solo performance was such a massive success that he disbanded the collective and decided to play single. One of Bird’s discs, Armchair Apocrypha, released in 2007, gained a big public acclaim and attracted the deserved attention to this wonderful artist. This year, he recorded the fifth solo attempt Noble Beast.

Noble Beast: baronial arrangements and thoughtful lyrics

The work starts with the jazz-meets-pop composition Oh No, decorated by whistling and delicate, rhythmical tambourine taps. The track Masterswarm features hand claps, accompanying the fiery guitar flamenco, it transmits the listeners into the South-West of the USA. On this track Bird recommends himself as the virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and adds to the aforementioned instruments his amazing whistling, flute and violin play. The Plain, but memorable country-song Effigy, which starts from a violin introduction and develops into a guitar tune, is devoted to the solitude topic, which was definitely explored by Andrew in his lonely farm. The same topic is developed by Bird in the charming ballad Nomendclature, which is definitely one of the lyrically strongest moments on the album. This track strikes also by the complicated arrangement with the impressing drums, mesmerizing violin and distortion. The brief instrumental baroque-pop trip Ouo is followed up by the unexpected for this long-play island of electronica - Not A Robot, But A Ghost. The melody Anonanimal can boast not only by the whimsical title, but also by the astonishingly thick sound and wonderful string arrangement. One of the most impressing songs on the disc is the delicate folk-rock composition Natural Disaster. The melancholic track Souverian, devoted to the lost youth, has a stylish retro tint – it could be written several decades ago by some composer.

Intelligent music, comprehensive for everyone

Creating the disc Noble Beast, Andrew Bird spent his time primarily between his native Chicago and in his solitude farm, which is situated close to the Illinois town of Elizabeth. Such way if life definitely had an influence on the musician’s lyrics – it became more introspective and thoughtful. It seems that in order to fully enjoy the message of the Noble Beast’s verses, you will have to get them in a printed variant and arm yourself with the dictionary and a cup of coffee. However, complicated texts with the original rhymes do not spoil the harmonic comprehension of the art rock, folk and baroque-pop, whimsically intervened in the singer’s creativity. He took all the best moments of verses and music from his former works and combined the daring experimentalism of The Mysterious Production Of Eggs disc and intelligence of the full-length Armchair Apocrypha, getting Noble Beast in the result. Thus, Bird got an extremely original disc, available and easily digestible for all the audiences. Well, Noble Beast can be called the most comprehensive disc by the artist by today. Moreover, his constant transmission from one genre to the other will never let you feel bored; the disc is notable for its dynamics. It is also praiseworthy that Bird self-produced this wonderful record. One should never forget about the fact, that Andrew Bird’s ability to whistle is worth a record by itself – even without such a magnificent framing as the Noble Beast material. Bird’s surname is a speaking one.

Ninelle Kazakoff (26.01.2009)
Rate review5.00
Total votes - 10

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