Album: Andrew Bird, Noble Beast, (Bella Union)
Sunday 01 February 2009
Birdwatchers rejoice – the familiar markings are all here: pizzicato violins, whistling, linguistic gymnastics.
This time, though, the orchestrator-in-chief has remembered to add the showbiz songs to the show-off skills. "Oh No" is as contagious as anything in the charts, in spite of a chorus built around the line "Arm in arm with all the harmless sociopaths". Bird blends Stéphane Grappelli with Simon and Garfunkel to come up with a thinking-person's pop as enchanting as, say, Joanna Newsom.
Pick of the album: The dazzling and daunting 'Master Swarm'
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
After Sam Smith’s Mobo success, is the help of a pushy parent the surest route to stardom?
Pottermore: JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story featuring 'greying' 33-year-old wizard
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts