Includes FREE MP3
version
of this album.
or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Available to Download Now
 
Buy the MP3 album for 7.49
 
 
 
 
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 

The Life of Birds [CD]

David Rotheray Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 11.11 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, 22 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to add the MP3 version to your Cloud Player. Provided by Amazon EU S. r.l.
Buy the MP3 album for 7.49 at the Amazon MP3 Downloads store.


Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

The Life of Birds + Answer Ballads
Buy the selected items together
  • Answer Ballads 7.16

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Aug 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Proper Records
  • ASIN: B003R7K96S
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. The Sparrow, The Thrush & The NightingaleDavid Rotheray, Jim Causley 3:250.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Living Before The WarDavid Rotheray, Bella Hardy 3:330.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Road To The SouthDavid Rotheray, Eliza Carthy 4:020.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Crows, Ravens & RooksDavid Rotheray, Kathryn Williams 3:240.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Draughty Old FortressDavid Rotheray, Alasdair Roberts 3:580.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Sweet ForgetfulnessDavid Rotheray, Camille O'Sullivan 4:070.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The HummingbirdDavid Rotheray, Bella Hardy, Jim Causley 1:290.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Taller Than MeDavid Rotheray, Julie Murphy 3:550.89  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Almost BeautifulDavid Rotheray, Eleanor McEvoy 2:540.89  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Flying LessonsDavid Rotheray, Nat Johnson 3:420.89  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Best Excuse In The World (Is The Truth)David Rotheray, Jack L 3:340.89  Buy MP3 
Listen12. The Digital CuckooDavid Rotheray, Bella Hardy 3:360.89  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Cover Your Garden OverDavid Rotheray, Eliza Carthy 3:300.89  Buy MP3 
Listen14. The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale (Part II)David Rotheray, Jim Causley 2:440.89  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

The seed for the album came about with opening track and first single ‘The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale’, a laidback, upbeat melody with an instantly recognisable whistled refrain disguising an allegorical tale about greed. Deciding to enlist the services of respected folk singer Jim Causley to add juxtaposing vigour to the seething, bilious lyrics, Rotheray hit upon the idea of expanding the metaphor to write an entire album with birds as its loose notional concept, and calling upon some of the UK’s finest folk singer-songwriters to flesh out the music he had written. The result is fourteen superbly crafted songs that touch on some sensitive subjects with subtlety and grace – although Rothery is quick to point out “all pigeons described … are entirely fictitious, and any resemblance to chaffinches, living or dead, is entirely coincidental!” In a career that has taken him from forming The Beautiful South with Paul Heaton in the late 1980s to his critically-acclaimed acoustic side project Homespun, Dave Rotheray’s name has always been synonymous with music that mixes the melancholy with dry humour to great effect. On ‘The Life Of Birds’, Rotheray has succeeded in crafting an album where the emphasis is firmly on songwriting, with some of the best lyrics and most beautiful music of his career. Track listing: The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale (with Jim Causley / Living Before The War (with Bella Hardy) / The Road To The South (with Eliza Carthy) / Crows, Ravens & Rooks (with Kathryn Williams) / Draughty Old Fortress (with Alasdair Roberts) / Sweet Forgetfulness (with Camille O'Sullivan) / The Hummingbird On Your Calendar (with Bella Hardy & Jim Causley / Taller Than Me (with Julie Murphy) / Almost Beautiful (with Eleanor McEvoy) / Flying Lessons (with Nat Johnson) / The Best Excuse In The World (Is The Truth) (with Jack L) / The Digital Cookoo (with Bella Hardy) / Cover Your Garden Over (with Eliza Carthy) / The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale Part II (with Jim Causley).

BBC Review

Until now, David Rotheray has been best known for his role as guitarist with massively successful band The Beautiful South, and the co-writer (along with Paul Heaton) of a series of hits including You Keep It All In and Don’t Marry Her. When that band broke up three years ago, after a remarkable 19-year career, and Rotheray went on to work with Homespun. Now he’s back with a very different project: The Life of Birds is a collaboration with ten different singers, including many of the current celebrities of the British folk scene.

The result is an intriguingly varied album of often sad-edged songs that range from the playful to the thoughtful, covering topics that most songwriters would shy away from. Some, but not all, of the tracks have an ornithological theme, so The Sparrow, the Thrush and the Nightingale (which appears in two parts, as the opening and closing tracks) is a gently satirical piece about greed and betrayal in the music industry (the birds decide to make money by selling their songs) with Jim Causley taking the lead. Then there’s the thoughtful, piano-backed Crows, Ravens and Rooks, which is finely sung by Kathryn Williams, and which Rotheray describes as “a somewhat middle-aged reflection on the virtues of serial monogamy”. Causley reappears, in the company of Bella Hardy, for the gently cheerful The Hummingbird on Your Calendar, a “cosmic musing on the effable nature of time” with pedal steel guitar backing. Hardy shows how well she can handle a charmingly bittersweet pop ballad on The Digital Cuckoo, in which, says Rotheray, “a technophobe rails against electric clocks”.

Elsewhere, unexpected lyrics deal with anything from illness and death to migration – with the often poignant or painful ideas at times matched against sturdy and cheerful-sounding melodies. So Almost Beautiful, sung by Eleanor McEvoy, combines a jazz-edged ballad with a bleak reflection on Alzheimer’s disease, while Taller Than Me uses a simple piano and string backing for a song about childhood and mortality. In total contrast again is Draughty Old Fortress, a gothic mood piece featuring the compelling vocals of Alasdair Roberts, and The Road to the South, a drifting ballad about northerners moving to London with fine soulful vocals from Eliza Carthy.

As for Rotheray himself, he doesn’t sing at all, instead playing bass or guitar on most of the highly original songs on this decidedly unusual set.

--Robin Denselow

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:MP3 Download
Lying in my scratcher two weeks ago desperately searching for the motivation to get up, I was roused from my semi-conscious slumber by an interview with David Rotheray on the Today programme about his (then) forthcoming album - The Life of Birds. Background clips of two tracks (The Sparrow et al and Crows et al) was all that was needed for me to rise, wrap a towel around my burgeoning waistline and tip-toe to the laptop to pre-order the album. A fortnight later, returning home from holiday, I found the CD sitting on the mat among all that unwanted guff which accumalates when your guard is down. Bags still packed and dirty washing festering, I have now listened to the album three times through and feel qualified to comment.

The album struck a note instantly; of great appeal is the wide range of superb musicians singing and accompanying DR on each track. Folk and acoustic features prominently throughout but that is not to categorise this album as such. It covers a wide spectrum of styles (there's even a slide guitar for those of you with exotic tastes) which all combine to produce a first class collection of songs that comment on issues such as greed, puberty, marriage, Alzheimers, old age, supressed sexuality and electric clocks. As to be expected, there is a song about Hull. There is a melancholic feel to the album, but not at the expense of humour and wit, and all of the songs are beautifully arranged. The album's subtle production enhances the music opposed to stripping it of all its charm. This is an album to treasure and is one that deserves to be listened to. If, like me, you have never heard DR's solo stuff before, take a chance and buy this one - you will not be disappointed (and you will also discover how exciting birds can be!).
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Surprise 11 Sep 2010
By The Soft Machine Operator TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I must admit that I wasn't really a fan of the "Beautiful South" - Rotheray's previous employment - but they could spin a decent tune with good, quirky lyrics. I only picked up this due to the impressive list of folk artists who appear on it. Good tunes, varied styles, interesting lyrics and stories behind the songs and wonderful artists such as Bella Hardy, Eliza Carthy and Jim Causley in tow. The songwriting and instrumentation is the star here.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The re-creation of Dave Rotheray... 17 Nov 2010
Format:Audio CD
"Dave's written a folk album, you know"
Me: "Great!" *sigh* *pulls face* "It'll all be fiddle-dee-dee, day trips and skipping, won't it?" *pulls another face*

The above was across pint ramblings of 2 friends.

My introduction to the actual songs on the album was a live gig at a new venue in Hull called 'Fruit'. Due to there being 10 singers on the album real (14 songs), the gig was merely featuring 2 of them: Bella Hardy and Jim Causley. The album also includes Alasdair Roberts, Eliza Carthy, Jack L, Nat Johnson, Julie Murphy, Camille O'Sullivan, Kathryn Williams and Eleanor McEvoy.
The gig was so good, I bought the album, there and then.

There's probably one song that you could call a 'pop' song, that being 'The Sparrow, the Thrush and the Nightingale', it's kind of a masterstroke by Dave because it opens the ears to what is to follow... Basically, we ALL like a 'pop' song, something to get the feet tapping and the head nodding and this one achieves that with consumate ease. Your kids will like it!
Following on from that, the rest isn't particularly 'for kids'. It's a definite 'adults' album, there are songs on it which discuss life, illness, love, hate, war, regret, disappointment, hope, memories and most heart-breakingly (is that a word?) the disintegration of great friendship...

Personal favourites are:-
'The Road to the South'
'Sweet Forgetfulness'
'The Best Excuse in the World (is the Truth)'
...and if you would like to hear a contender for the greatest but most under-rated song EVER, try 'Almost Beautiful' (with Eleanor McEvoy).
The songs are so good, you feel like you already know them! Live with them.. enjoy them.. and you'll keep returning to them, over the years. I guarantee it!
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Life of Birds is an eclectic array of touching vocals, poignant lyrics backed by soothing rhythmical melodies. The distinctive songs are subtle yet catchy, telling enlightening tales of an assortment of issues that impinge on us all at some time in our lives. The sounds are pure class. The overall musical delivery has a cunning hushed quality, an almost haunted folky feel, with the exception of The Sparrow Thrush and Nightingale that bookends the album ingeniously. Life of Birds is a must for Folk / Country lovers listening and thought provoking pleasure.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
David Rotheray
The Life of Birds

BEAUTIFUL South founder and songwriter David Rotheray releases his first solo album The Life Of Birds... and what an album it is!
Although it features a host of top musicians and singers, The Life Of Birds is entirely Rotheray's record, a series of ascerbic reflections on life amid astonishing collaborations.
The seed for the album came with the opening track The Sparrow, The Thrush & The Nightingale, a laidback melody with a whistled refrain disguising an allegorical tale about greed and self interest within a band - a tale played out so many times in the history of contemporary music.
Rotheray enlisted the services of young folk troubador Jim Causley, to expand the metaphor and write an entire album with birds as its concept, calling upon some of the finest folk singer-songwriters to flesh out the music he had written.
The result is 14 superbly crafted songs that touch on some sensitive subjects with subtlety and grace.
Kathryn Williams, lends her beautiful vocals to Crows, Ravens & Rooks, a personal stand out track on an album of stand outs.
The lines: "For heaven is a metaphor, The lovers of the world reach for, And truly, you may find the occasional angel. But mostly when we get up there, Far above the city air, All we have for company Is crows, ravens and rooks" are timeless.
So for the other stand outs:
The Road To The South is a reflection on friends of Hull born Rotheray who have "migrated to London" and is sung with sense of place by folk legend Eliza Carthy.
Particularly powerful is a pair of numbers that address the issue of Alzheimer's disease.
Sweet Forgetfulness, sung by Camille O'Sullivan, is performed from the point of view of someone with no memories to lose.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Was this review helpful?   Let us know
ARRAY(0xa986e018)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback