Andrew Bird’s music is like a bespoke suit: “fussy and impossible for anyone else to wear,” said Jessica Suarez in Spin. Only Bird, a classically trained violinist and world-class whistler, could get away with unfurling a cumbersome word like “Nomenclature” within a mellifluous piece of chamber pop. Though Noble Beast fails to “create the same frothy electricity” as 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha, it certainly deepens the “reliably idiosyncratic” artist’s deft instrumental palette. At once instrumentally spare and musically complex, the album “takes you even further into the canyons of Bird’s mind,” said Joe Tangari in Pitchforkmedia.com. Starting with “Oh No,” a chirpy tune about sociopaths, he leads listeners on a heady musical journey. His “drifting song structures, frequent tonal shifts,” and abstruse lyrics can occasionally lead them astray. More interested in melody than in meaning, Bird creates music that’s “emotionally powerful” even when it’s hard to decipher. Noble Beast may reveal itself slowly, said Noel Murray in The Onion. But what it ultimately unveils is “a higher form of pop music.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- Why so many Christians won't back down on gay marriage
- The European Union was supposed to end nationalism. It gave it new life instead.
Subscribe to the Week