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  • Birdy
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4.7 out of 5 stars
206
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2011
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.
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on 11 November 2011
I have to say i'm a little disappointed how her wonderful voice is trumed by the loud instruments. still a 5 start album because of her amazing voice. Her youtube channel has her acoustic versions and it's to die for. Absolutely beautiful
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on 7 January 2012
All i have to say about this album,that sums it up pefectly is:-Wow what a voice & naturally talented girl,I really enjoy just her singing along with her piano,she really doesnt need anything else shes amazing.
Really hope we see alot more of this girl,would love to hear her sing some coldplay songs.
Her album really made me tingle.
BUY IT NOW,GREAT ALBUM,AMAZING VOICE & TALENT. ;) NICE 1 BIRDY,WELL DONE.
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on 23 January 2012
Only a short review as others have said much of what I agree with, and her music should be all the talking needed, just listen to a track or two on YouTube. Of all the albums I bought or downloaded during 2011, this is the best. I had heard a lot of hype about Birdy and generally hype rarely lives up to reality, but for once it is fully justified. OK, all but one are covers of what some might call 'classic' tunes, but Birdy easily makes them her own. And at just 15 when this was recorded, this album is clearly more a demonstration of her vocal talents than her songwriting skills. Listening to it restored my faith that there is a future for young talented singers.

If she doesn't become a HUGE star over the next few years as she completes her education, both academic and musical, then there is no justice in the world, and all we will be left with is the dreadful x-factor et al wannabes. This is a girl with genuine talent, and a remarkable voice and I wish her the very best of success.
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on 11 February 2012
I generally shy away from albums of cover versions, but this is really excellent. Birdy's choice of songs from folk classics (James Taylor's Fire & Rain) to more modern classics-in-the-making (Bon Iver's Skinny Love and The XX's Shelter) is truly inspired, and she has such a fragile, tender delivery that I can honestly say that, in some cases (The District Sleeps Alone Tonight & White WInter Hymnal), her version is now my favourite. There is only one original song in this album (Without A Word), and I think it says a lot that it holds its own in the midst of more familiar favourites. I'm looking forward to future music from this bright young thing, especially to watch her continue to spread her songwriting wings. I think this must be my most played album of 2012 so far - I just keep coming back to it. And I think you might too.
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on 7 November 2011
This is interesting for so many reasons: another female vocal at a time of such sweet saturation [Feist, Camille, Florence Welch, Phoebe Killdeer to name a few]; appearing first on youtube and within the contemporary public infatuation for promo-rich, X-Factoresque ratification - attained with bells on at 7 million clicks for her version of Bon Iver's 'Skinny Love', and aged only 15, her youth adds to the overall mystique and excitement that announces this new artist and release.

Jasmine Van den Bogaerde [aka Birdy and already packaged according to a requisite twee appellation] certainly possesses a powerful, pure voice. The 14 tracks on this debut album do occasionally contain over-dubs and layerings, but generally the production - from a stellar cast of participants, by all accounts - foregrounds the vocal. I feel my age when of these 14 tracks I really only know two well: Fleet Foxes' 'White Winter Hymnal' - from a band who themselves timewarp sounds from the 70s - and James Taylor's 'Fire and Water', which suggests Birdy has been dipping into the grandparents' vinyl. Or she's taken some astute advice on appealing to the genuinely mass market. I wasn't aware of the 7 million youtube audience appeal and accolade until reading recent and overall most favourable reviews, especially from the quality newspapers who can articulate with sharp tongues or approving sagacity, the latter reigning at the moment. Most confirm a promising start and future, and on my first tentative listen I would agree.

'Skinny Love' definitely reveals a strong and emotive vocal. 'People Help The People' also places the vocal up front and knowing, though I wouldn't characterise it as distinctive which is a clear nitpick within the obvious excellence - but that links back to the reality of needing to establish an identity within a market of extremely strong female voices. Especially when the youth vote wanes. 'Terrible Love' is a song that almost gets lost within the over-production of strings accompaniment, but the singing does hold its own which says much for Birdy's incipient vocal presence. A good aural test for me is the Taylor version. It's sound enough and what stands out - as it seemingly should - is that clear, confident vocal, and that is where the current and only 'problem' exists: that this track is as solid, but not necessarily different and distinctive from all the other strong tracks. Again, as many reviewers have already noted, self-penned 'Without a Word' reveals enough promise for the future to make this release exciting and significant.
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on 7 November 2011
First listening.....a bit disappointed actually. A superb voice but most are cover songs and not quite connected with emotionally by the singer. But there was sure something there. Subsequent listens - getting a bit more of the potential and that beautiful, melancholic but strong voice - sometimes a bit Kate Bush - bizarre comparison I guess?......Then I read the review here and now I gettit. This girl is only 15 for heaven's sake! and what I guess this is is a group of awesome producers recognising and nurturing a very exciting emerging talent....and actually doing a great job of show casing her voice and showing us all her potential.

Without a Word is - for me - the best all round track - it's Birdy's own and you can tell she connects with the emotion. This for me is the real window to her future potential as a singer-song writer.

Birdy - you are a wonderful discovery and an amazing young talent - a voice beyond your years. Take it slow girl - don't wear out that instrument you have whilst you are still young - I think you are in safe and talented hands - genuine musical artists - and have a fantastic future beautiful girl!

This CD is a pearl. Buy it and dream of her potential. Taken in context - 5 stars - easy. I'll be watching this one for a live performance - I'm guessing she'll knock me sox off.
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on 17 November 2011
This is a must buy cd. It gets better the more you listen to it. This would be great by anyone. It is astonishing for a young adult of that age. The production is just right and suits her voice and the songs. It is surprising there are 3 different producers. Well done Birdy !
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on 22 January 2012
Birdy is a fantastic writer and performer, her songs a beautiful and heartfelt.
Amazing shes going to have a very big career watch out Adele =)
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on 18 January 2012
This is just a sublime masterpiece from such a young and promising talent. With one of the most beautiful and haunting (in a breathtaking rather than spooky way) voices you will ever hear, Birdy is an artist who makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. 'People, Help The People' is just staggeringly beautiful. For some, the tracks might blend into each other a little bit, but that's no bad thing. This is the kind of album you can just disappear into.

Amazing stuff.
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