Andrew Bird remains one of the most interesting artists in music today. Bird, a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, violin, glockenspiel, among other things) brings us his fifth studio album in 2009, entitled Noble Beast. I’ve been listening to Bird for a little over a year now, and I’ve clung to the belief that he is one of the smartest (if not the smartest) musician/songwriter in today’s music scene; I’ve seen certain publications refer to him as the “Renaissance man for modern music.” His tendencies to combine a vast array of styles, unique and entertaining lyrics (often containing highly sophisticated vocabulary) , and occasional catchiness makes him one of my favorite artists. Noble Beast, sure enough, generally adheres to these qualities.
I would probably rank Noble Beast, ahead of its predecessor Armchair Apocrypha , but behind (in my opinion) Bird’s best album, The Mysterious Production of Eggs . While Noble Beast retains the signature Andrew Bird sound that he has developed, overall I just feel like the songs aren’t as good as some of his earlier songs. The instrumentation and lyrics continue to flourish, however, I honestly felt a lack of melodic tracks, and it just feels like a more mellow album (not necessarily a bad thing).
Unfortunately, I feel like this album has been severely overlooked in 2009. Due to its early release (January of 09), by the time the spring months rolled around, everybody had forgotten about it. Don’t make that same mistake; do yourself a favor and give this one a shot.
Released: January 20, 2009