Saturday, January 1, 2011

Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs

Andrew Bird - Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs 
Published 2005

First up, thanks to Alex Claxton for suggesting this album. I've been looking to do this one almost since the beginning of the project and I'm glad I finally got to it. 

Second, this was originally written on my iPod because my school decided that they needed me to go on a school trip. This was a mistake on their part. If there is anything in the world that I am not good at, it is sightseeing in Korea. Any major mistakes can and will be used against the iPod at the appropriate time in it's trial on it's warcrimes against humanity.   

Anyway, to the album. I think I'll start out by saying something that is going to sound like the beginning of
a back handed compliment, but I honestly mean it. Andrew Bird would best be described in my mind as technically proficient. I mean this in the nicest way possible. He sincerely plays some of the most technically proficent music that I have listened to on the project thus far. The fact that this is also a performer's album makes it even better. 

What do I mean by a performer's album? Well, I'm glad you asked, person from my brain who asks me to clarify things that I wrote. It's an album type I usually associate with singer songwriter types who to for that stripped down sound. I'm talking the early stuff for these artists, who then go on to do what Andrea Bird does so well. The album is truly a showcase of the artists talent and ideas about music. It's usually a solo and guests only type of deal. 

And this is why I appreciate what Mr. Bird did here. This is a performer's album which sounds and feels like a big band effort. It is exclusively performed by him, but there are a ton of instruments used beautifully and proficiently.

See, I have a multi instrumentalist cousin ( if were being honest, I also have another cousin, two uncles, a grandmother who are multi instrumentalists, and everyone in my family has played instruments and sang), I somewhat understand how much work he has done on his instruments to just be technically proficent.  

So when I say technically proficent, I mean it as a high compliment. He plays beautifully on all of the instruments. The little flourishes are wonderful and the whole album is genuinely well played. The only real problem that I have with it is that I just don't feel enraptured. Not to say that it isn't moving or beautiful, it is, it's just not the kind of thong that I get deeply into.

Musically, it's kind of an indie jazz album. It's good but nothing super special to my ears. The production makes a huge difference.  And knowing that Bird did all of the playing makes a huge difference.   

If you are the kind of completionist who needs to hear this whole album, it's a good one for daytime driving and newspaper reading. I will say sovay is one of my favorite songs off of this album so perhaps you should give that a spin. 

Once again, thanks Alex, I hope that I didn't desparage the name and hope you'll throw more suggestions my way. 

Ooh a big blinking lighty machiney thing. Big blinking lighty machiney things have my name all over it. Well not yet, but give me some time . . . And a crayon. 

PS. Up next Nas - Illmatic

PPS. Happy New Year

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