I must admit, I was slightly disappointed when I first listened to this album. What initially drew me to Birdy was the stark simplicity of her singles, which have mostly consisted of just vocals and paino. In the album, I felt that the producers had added far too much backing music, almost to the point of drowning her out.
However, on subsequent listens, I noticed something: in its own way, the music is just as ethereal as her voice - and, as such, complements her perfectly. Most of the tracks are indie-rock covers - Francis & the Lights, Fleet Foxes, the National - to which Birdy has added her characteristic haunting edge. The whole thing has a ghostly beauty which is deeply relaxing to listen to.
She has only one self-penned track on this album - Without a Word - which, considering her age, is absolutely phenomenal. For those who criticise based on this alone, I think you're being unnecessarily harsh: Birdy is hardly equivalent to the manufactured pop acts spewed out of X-factor. Her choice of covers reveals her maturity and individual taste - she's not reproducing unoriginal versions of mainstream pop songs, after all - and she's been writing her own songs since she was 7. I think this girl is definitely going places. Overall, a surprising but gorgeous album.