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Noble Beast

Andrew Bird Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Music

Image of album by Andrew Bird

Photos

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Biography

A Reverse Chronology of Selected Significant Dates & Events

"Bird could be the only performer who's lit up both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo with a combination of vocals, violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling... he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock."--ESQUIRE "The Masters Are Dead--Long Live The Masters," November ... Read more in Amazon's Andrew Bird Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Jan 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B001O30MLE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,549 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seven... 26 Jan 2009
By Mike
Format:Audio CD
Andrew Bird has a wonderful four albums to his name - the multi-instrumentalist (including classically-trained violinist) reached his zenith with The Mysterious Production Of Eggs, a gorgeous, clever, sophisticated delight of an album. Were you to imagine a muso Jeff Buckley, you'd not be far wrong, with Bird's wonderfully warm, soaring voice accompanying his pizzicato violin, and (often simultaneously) multi-tracked instruments. Noble Beast is a bit of a departure, and not an entirely welcome one. Whereas he's been pretty self-reliant in past, this album sees him rope in some members of Wilco to indie up the sound. The result, with Mark Nevers (producer of Lambchop and Calexico) at the desks, is a little one-dimensional - nice enough, but lacking the kind of flights of fancy that entertained so much, and that can easily be misclassified as experimental. It is an album that has a stronger crust to break through, and once in it is a little flat. Bird seems to have taken himself pretty seriously here - the whimsy of his music lost. Instead, Noble Beast sounds like later-era Paul Simon, but played and sung beautifully. (This review also refers only to CD1...)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whistling tunes to remember 1 Jun 2011
By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I've never heard Andrew Bird before so when Noble Beast came through I didn't know what to expect. But what i got was a real find. What I got was acoustic guitar, a great voice, strings and oh...some whistling.

It starts off with Oh No and its great chorus of 'Arm in arm we are the harmless sociopaths', Lyrically its pretty good as well. On Masterswarm his voice reminds me of Thom Yorke for some reason at the beginning.
Fitz and Dizzy Spells is a great feel good number that bounces along and is one of my personal favourites. The album veers between feelgood and the heavier numbers. Both work well. It reminds me of of It's Heavy in Here - by Eric Matthews It's Heavy in Herefor some reason. I think its the way it uses strings and tracks start and never end in the same way. The best example of this is my personal favourite Anonanimal. Again there are echos of Radiohead here towards the end when the drums kick in and we could be listening to something from Hail to the Thief.

The more I listen the more I pick out. And having seen the live version of Andrew Bird I must say I can't wait for a new offering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creature Comforts 7 Jun 2009
By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Mr Bird is that rarest of creatures. Namely one who still
understands and values the gentle art of whistling.
Bird by name and bird by nature. This most eminently portable
of musical instruments has all but disappeared from the world.
My own Father could whistle well and passed on the gift to me.

That this simple and highly effective tool is kept alive and
utilised substantially on 'Noble Beast' deserves our applause !

Hand-clapping, too, gets more than a little piece of the action.

These spartan skills, combined with the artist's multi-instrumental
capabilites, have amalgamated in a collection of 12 fine songs
(and two brief sonic interludes) of which he can be very proud.

I understand that this is Mr Bird's fifth studio album.
I have to admit that this is my first encounter with his work
and that his devotees will already be far ahead of me in their
understanding and appreciation of his labours.
What I have heard here, however, is clear evidence of a major talent.

This is classy songwriting which doesn't need to declare itself
from the rooftops or dress up in gaudy fashionable vestments.
The melodies are inventive and strong; the arrangements occasionally
complex but always lucid.

Mr Bird's highish tenor voice communicates the warmth,
invention and good humour of his lyrics with alacrity.

So many treats here it's hard to know quite where to start.

'Nomenclature', despite its relative brevity, is an absolute
jewel of a song. Violin, percussion and exqusite harmonies
coalesce in a truly memorable performance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Buy It! 8 Feb 2009
Format:Audio CD
Andrew Bird has produced another great album. More 'mainstream' i guess but is still on a par with th Mysterious Production Of Eggs and Armchair Apocrypha. Second disc is a nice little bonus too and ALSO you get a little poster in the CD sleave!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mellow Bird 17 Jan 2009
Format:Audio CD
This latest release comes in two parts, and I haven't heard the 2nd (instumental) CD so these comments refer only to CD1.
Anyone who has heard the European tour release 'Soldier On' will have noted that Andrew Bird was taking a direction towards a sound that was, in general, less of the experimental and more of the melodic style, and that direction is continued with Noble Beast. 'In general' is key.. Firstly this is very unmistakebly Andrew Bird, clever and educated lyrics, the prominant use of violin and whistling, although there is more acoutic guitar used than previosly, and of course the voice that falls somewhere between Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley. Secondly it of course has a few tracks, in the middle of the album, that challenge a bit more while still being listenable; the short tracks Ouo and Unfolding Fans precede the second longest track Not A Robot, But A Ghost. And after that it winds down through the mellow again until the short violin (viola?) coda of On Ho.

And inbetween is my personal favourite, Privateers, which, as John Peel may have said, is a thing of great beauty. To give an indication of the overall quality of writing, that track has more than hint of the writing of Leonard Cohen about it, and elsewhere there are also musical leanings towards such diverse performers as Paul Simon, Donovan and others that I frustratingly can't place.

All in all this is a very approachable and listenable, and dare I even say commercial album than some of AB's previous releases, and I guess directed more to his USA audience, where he can sell out arenas and moderate sized stadia - at the date of this review the album is No. 91 on Amazon USA, and No. 568 on Amazon UK.
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