Edge

Beauty and the Noble ‘Beast’

Chicago native Andrew Bird’s sound is hard to define. He draws from a broad range of genres, from classical to experimental and folk, with hints of jazz and intelligent pop. With his newest solo album Noble Beast, the guitar playing, whistling, singing violin virtuoso produces sounds that are sparser and less structured than his two previous albums, 2005’s The Mysterious Production of Eggs and 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha.

His style has become increasingly looser, leaving open spaces that draw close parallels to his lyrics: eccentric and random, yet beautiful and at times exceptionally realistic and accessible.

Not many singer/songwriters have the SAT-acing vocabulary that Bird presents on the album’s fifth track “Tenuousness,” where he croons, “from proto-Sanskrit Minoans to porto-centric Lisboans/Greek Cypriots and Hobis-hots/who hang around in ports a lot.” As catchy as the lyrics are with Bird’s melody and violin plucking in the background, most listeners cannot possibly relate to the far-fetched workings of Andrew Bird’s mind. While one would think the oddities in his lyrics would drive listeners away, he draws them closer with his keen sense of sensitivity in the electronically looped, simplicity of his musical phrases.

Though Noble Beast has its flaws – including an obviously stronger first half, a missing focal point, and a sense of seclusion in the lyrics – Andrew Bird still writes material that is original and brilliant, and that brings the beauty to his Beast.

2.5 out of 4 stars

February 1, 2009

Reporters

Carey Goldenberg

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

It was obvious before tipoff that the University of Miami game against No. 5 Duke was no ordinary Hu ...

Miami Hurricanes backup quarterback Evan Shirreffs announced Monday on Twitter that he will transfer ...

Here’s one of the many neat things about the UM football program, a tradition that has carried on fo ...

Clemson coach Brad Brownell had a simple plan at the only practice before facing No. 18 Miami — don ...

The Beaux Arts Festival of Art debuts at a new site with picture-perfect weather and a panoply of or ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

UM launches three cyber security certificate programs to equip professionals for the growing employm ...

The second annual Big Data Conference and Workshop hosted by UM Center for Computational Science enc ...

Now in its 67th year, the Beaux Arts Festival will move to the Foote University Green. ...

Freshman jumper Hasani Knight was named ACC Men's Field Performer of the Week. ...

MIami volleyball signee Chloe Brown was named the 2017-18 Gatorade Oregon Volleyball Player of the Y ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team will play the first of two home games in a 31-d ...

Lonnie Walker IV scored 19 points, but it wasn't enough as the Canes fell to the Blue Devils at ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team took down Clemson behind a career-high 19 point ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.