Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Andrew Bird

  • The Mysterious Production of Eggs [Righteous Babe, 2005] B
  • Armchair Apocrypha [Fat Possum, 2007] Choice Cuts
  • Noble Beast [Fat Possum, 2009] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Mysterious Production of Eggs [Righteous Babe, 2005]
The main reason this record isn't insufferable is that Bird never preens. He shows off discreetly, underplaying his vocal chops and musical command, even his familiarity with scientific arcana--nay, his intelligence itself, which I bet exceeds that of 95 percent of the netcrits his ninth album has had its way with. But discretion exacts a price in identity, clarity, and meaning. The artist may know what these songs signify beyond cunningly arranged wordplay, but anybody else who does ain't talking. Nor does the artist reveal anything about his inner life, specifically including the delight that normally renders the ludic compelling. Certainly there are moments when the music asserts itself--I recommend the chamber-orchestra intro to "Fake Palindromes." But in this prog-rock moment, what half saves Bird's mild, pretty, supersmart album is that it doesn't throw the melody out with the rebop. B

Armchair Apocrypha [Fat Possum, 2007]
"Scythian Empires" Choice Cuts

Noble Beast [Fat Possum, 2009] Dud