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coverpic flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 104 - 03/25/05

Andrew Bird
The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Righteous Babe U.S./Fargo U.K.

This is one of those special late-night-written reviews where I allow myself to veer a bit. Hope you can bare with me. Oops, bladder's full; back in a flash... Ah, that's better. Wow, there has been some damned good music come out so far this year hasn't there? I wanted to thank good Ms Anna Maria Stjärnell for her recommendations, they are growing on me like crazy. What an ear! I'll fight with her to stave off the Bowie ripoff comments poor old Jamie and the Magic Torch Song bring.

You know I hate to blow our own horn here but since I'm a newbie writer I feel like I can still do this: I just want to take this space to say that lunakafe is a great magazine and is sadly overlooked by too many. These folks have an incredible concept going here, and it's been going for a long time now. Great work! I'm proud to be here. (Why do I get sentimental late nights?) Ok, so. Andrew Bird. The Mysterious Production of Eggs. That's a very provocing title, eh? Well first you should definitely go here. What a funny picture.

Andrew has been releasing albums since 97, all were well received by the few critics that heard them, and were strong enough to keep a substantial fanbase afloat. He has been prolific during that time, and is set here to release a truly groundbreaking album.

He's a violinist. He says "At this point the violin just happens to be the instrument I have on hand to make the sounds that I hear. I like to abuse it and pull as many sounds out of it as I can." He is a sight to see live: he plays his violin into a sampler and mixes it up with guitar, glockenspiel and other neat things. A jack of all trades, he's also a singer.

I do like this Andy Bird. Some of the songs can be a bit on the slow-to-develop side, but the deliberate pace doesn't kill the album. We have here yet another exceptional electro-pop artist. The genre is soaring these days. Andrew Bird's singing is composed, never getting into any out-of-control territory. His verses are long and can be wordy; his personality is cool, and while somewhat unassuming, quite confident. One of the neatest sounds on this album is a whistle. Coming back throughout the album, it works as a compelling archetype for The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Other sounds on the album are very clean, there is rarely any muddyness to this music.

I unfortunately do find myself becoming a little bored at various points in this album. While there is little wrong with this album asthetically speaking, there is some spark it's lacking that keeps it from being that groundbreaking album I was hoping Andy Bird would deliver. This album almost sounds like it would have benefited from other musicians' input. I can't exactly pin it down but it feels like Andrew stretches himself a bit too thin here. Individual parts, while quite good, sometimes lack a certain soul. The Mysterious Production of Eggs won't be one of my personal greatest favorites, but I recommend it.

Copyright © 2005 Bill Banks e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Andrew Bird articles/reviews: Are You Serious, Armchair Apocrypha, Break It Yourself, Capsized, Hands of Glory, I Want to See Pulaski at Night, Noble Beast, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of....

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