Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha

Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha

Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha is American singer-songwriter Andrew Bird ‘s fourth studio album and his third post-Bowl of Fire album. The album features more electric guitars, a change from the more acoustic-oriented Eggs, though the songs are similar in character if slightly more straightforward.

AMG review:  With Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha, Andrew Bird takes another developmental departure from his previous works, though not nearly in as drastic a fashion as his previous album-to-album jumps in style. This has become expected of Andrew Birdand is one of the merits that make each of his releases highly anticipated. Where in the past Bird has impressed listeners with his violin artistry and vocal delivery, and later his use of electronic looping and whistling, with Armchair he allows the songs to breathe more on their own, using the aforementioned elements to blend into the structural integrity of the songs rather than predominately featuring each component. This is not to say his previous approaches were ineffective, but rather an observation that is one of the essential reasons Armchair Apocrypha holds together more cohesively than Bird’s previous outings. Perhaps the heavy inclusion of drummer and electric pianist Martin Dosh has much to do with this cohesion; it is the first time Dosh and Bird have teamed up on a recording, though the two had been touring together with regularity for a couple of years previous to this. Dosh provides excellent propulsion as a drummer and his Rhodes/Wurlitzer playing adds a deep and dynamic warmth to the entire album. With a few other guests, most noticeably bassist Chris Morrissey’s playing on five of the 12 tracks, Armchair is the first album since the 2001 release of The Swimming Hour that feels like a band playing together rather than songs built in separate layers.

…It would be negligent not to mention the careful engineering and mixing that so clearly went into the making of Armchair Apocrypha, as it is, sonically, the most pleasing work not only that Bird has done, but that has come out in some time. The guitars and electric pianos are decidedly rich in tone and though at any given moment there are endless shifting layers of vocals, violins, guitars and more, Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha never feels cluttered. Certainly, this is due in part to the exceptional arrangements, but also credit is due to the wonderful placement of the instruments in the mix throughout the recording. This, in part with the further adventurous nature of Andrew Bird ‘s developments as a songwriter and performer make Armchair Apocrypha the finest recording he has made to date, an impressive achievement considering his remarkable catalog thus far. –by Gregory McIntosh

 

Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha Tracklist

  1. Fiery Crash – 04:12
  2. Imitosis – 04:00
  3. Plasticities – 04:27
  4. Heretics – 03:33
  5. Armchairs – 07:02
  6. Dark Matter – 05:07
  7. Simple X – 03:36
  8. The Supine – 00:58
  9. Cataracts – 03:12
  10. Scythian Empires – 04:34
  11. Spare-Ohs – 04:07
  12. Yawny At the Apocalypse – 03:38

Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

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