CD Armchair Apocrypha [Original Soundtrack/Andrew Bird] (CD 1118762),
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Armchair Apocrypha [Original Soundtrack/Andrew Bird]
Original Soundtrack/Andrew Bird
1. Fiery Crash
6. Dark Matter
7. Simple X
8. Supine, The
10. Scythian Empires
12. Yawny At the Apocalypse
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1058
Andrew Bird; Ben Durrant; Andrew Bird; Ben Durrant
Martin Dosh; Ben Durrant; Dan Dietrich; Tom Herbers; Ben Durrant
Personnel: Andrew Bird (vocals, violin); Jeremy Ylvisaker (guitar); Jon Davis (clarinet); Martin Dosh (Fender Rhodes piano, Wurlitzer piano, Wurlitzer organ, drums); Chris Morrissey (bass instrument); Kevin O'Donnell (drums); Haley Bonar (vocals); Ben Durrant (guitar).
Audio Mixers: Ben Durrant; David Boucher; Tom Herbers; Brent Sigmeth.
Recording information: Crazy Beast Studio, Northeast Minneapolis; Electrical Studio, Chicago, IL; Third Ear Recording, Minneapolis, MN; Wall2Wall Recording, Chicago, IL.
Issued in 2007, ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA marks a period of change for indie-pop vocalist/violinist Andrew Bird, as it's both his debut on the Fat Possum label and his first solo album without longtime collaborators Kevin O'Connell and Nora O'Connor. Recorded by the Chicago-based performer in Minneapolis with a cadre of local musicians, most notably multi-instrumentalist Martin Dosh, APOCRYPHA furthers Bird's inventive, genre-melding aesthetic, with the swooning "Heretics" calling to mind a folk-inclined Pavement, and the spare "Scythian Empire" blending delicately plucked violin with a warm keyboard sheen. A showcase for Bird's plaintive vocals, dynamic string lines, and utterly unique songcraft, ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA stands out as a transitional album and, even more importantly, one of his finest outings.
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[S]eemingly simple elements -- plucked violin, shuffling snare drums, chiming guitars, plinky piano, his spooky croon and magisterial whistle -- build into one heady, slippery whole..."
Spin (p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his stream-of-consciousness head trip blends tricky, delicious melodies and slippery lyrics, yet never lapses into annoyingly smug artiness."
Entertainment Weekly (p.59) - "[A] set of low-key, carefully arranged rock songs with sneaky melodies, mumbly vocals, and only the most tasteful of quirky flourishes..." -- Grade: B+
Q (p.125) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[V]ery much his own splendid creation -- a questing, kaleidoscopic world that reverberates to the sound of whistling, glockenspiels and birdsong."
Magnet (p.91) - "Andrew Bird's triad of wistful, sometimes simply sad weapons -- the timbre of his voice, the weep of his violin and his painfully lonesome whistle -- combine on ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA with some of his most intriguingly depressing tales yet."
No Depression (pp.83-84) - "Busting entirely out of the intimate space he created on 2003's WEATHER SYSTEMS, Andrew Bird inhabits an emotional range and resonance on his new album that we've only glimpsed elsewhere in his catalog."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Andrew Bird's songs are shot through with a beauty of terrible consequence....ARMCHAIR APOCRYPHA proves Bird's knack for the musical hat-trick."
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