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Noble Beast

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Editors’ Notes

Beginning with a skipping step, enthusiastic whistling and playful backing vocals that suggest a leisurely walk in the park, "Oh No" introduces Noble Beast with a festive air that allows this violin-wielding Chicago singer-songwriter to explore his pop side. This extra lift in his step remains throughout. While his influences are steeped in various unrelated traditions that tend towards the darker corners — from jazz to folk to German drinking songs, you name it — Bird mixes and matches as he hears fit with an ebullient grace. The six-and-a-half-minute "Masterswarm" is a bucolic swath of mystery, flowing onward with a stream-like consciousness, reminiscent of the loose and free cadences of Van Morrison and Tim Buckley. "Fitz and the Dizzyspells" pulls up with a tough, decisive rhythm section that yields to Bird's sublime melodic musings. Each track offers up a diverse collection of thoughts and impressions. The sad Spanish guitar that drives "Effigy," the strains of film noir that lace "Nomenclature," the haunting early-'70s folk of "Unfolding Fans," all come together without a feeling of forced eclecticism but as a focused, united musical front.

Customer Reviews

Great Stuff

Just downloaded it. This album is stellar; it gets you right off the bat with Oh No, a classic Andrew Bird-sounding song. The rest of the songs slide in with ease. The album simultaneously is able to be completely laid back, while at that same time engages you completely on all levels. The album seems to go back to basics, as in simpler music and easy melodies, but it also is completely on the edge. Andrew is on his A-game; he manages to blow you away without even trying. Buy this album now!!! Absolutely fantastic.


Somehow, Bird manages to create another fantastic album. It would be reasonable to expect a let down after "Mysterious Production" and "Armchair".....but, it hasn't happened yet.


Great album, but the store version has a bonus disc of instrumentals with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and jazz bassist Todd Sickafoose.


Born: July 11, 1973 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Chicago singer/songwriter/violinist Andrew Bird updates the traditions of small-group swing, German lieder, and New Orleans jazz, mixing Gypsy, folk, and rock elements into his distinctive style. Bird's projects include his group the Bowl of Fire (which also includes drummer Kevin O'Donnell, bassist Josh Hirsch, and guitarist Colin Bunn) and performing as an auxiliary member of the Squirrel Nut Zippers; in turn, the Zippers' Katharine Whalen and James Mathus appeared on the Bowl of Fire albums Thrills...
Full Bio
Noble Beast, Andrew Bird
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