I was one of the most obnoxious and loud kids in my fifth grade class. Like all of the other kids in my class I disliked going to school. Things were dull, boring, and my teacher was an old lady reaching her 70's, she was overbearingly strict and failed to interact with any of the students. I guess what bothered me most was how we never did anything different, we learned about the same things such as math, science, and American history. I remember sitting in my assigned seat, moving my body restlessly around trying to get comfortable. Every time I tried to get comfy I managed to fail and wound up sitting back the way that I started. Sometimes I got so restless I got up and walked around while the teacher was talking, this got me a seat right outside of her room in the hallway.
Towards the end of the year the fifth grade teachers decided to take us on a field trip. I was excited at first, but than realized that the bus ride was probably going to be the best part of the whole entire trip. Shortly after the big announcement our teacher said we were going to see a professional orchestra. The only thing I was worried about was how to get to sleep while inside the theater. The big day of the field trip finally came and I was correct, the bus ride was the best part of the day, simply because I kept on constantly annoying the smartest girl in the class just to get a pissed off look on her face. The show came and went and in conclusion I had no interest in orchestraís and no interest in the violin.
Years later along came a man named Andrew Bird, and now I am infatuated with the violin, and have a new interest in orchestras. I think I found out about this album while searching Andrew W.K. and up popped this album. I am extremely lucky that this happened because if it didnít Iíd probably be listening to some hard-core ďparty" music as of now.
The first thing that stands out is the odd sort of depressing cover art. I have no clue what the hell that animal is, possibly a combination of a chicken and a goat? A horse and a llama? I donít know and Iím not sure if I ever will unless I constantly search it on google, than I might find an acceptable answer. That being said I really like the picture, it is interesting and strange. I know that youíre not supposed to judge an album by its cover, but itís a good thing that I did or else I would have never bothered to give this album a listen considering I was searching for some more party-rock music.
Birds music history is very strange and misleading. The man grew up listening to classical music, and some how managed to join a swing band years later. He was part of the Squirrel Nut Zippers for quite some time, and then decided to leave the band and do his own thing. I donít see how this works since swing and classical music donít intervene or go together all that well.
Eggs is filled with different instruments, and this is were the album strives. First things first Bird is an excellent violinist, and it really shows. Throughout the course of the album the violin shows up in nearly every track, thus playing a huge role in the album. Bird usually just strums away at his violin creating a moody feel and really setting the tone. However this is not the only instrument to show up in the album, Bird is much smarter than that. Glockenspiels, guitars, chimes, and drums make their way into the music. Most of the time these extra instruments are used just to keep things dark and dreary, the album is not upbeat or very jazzy. Eggs isnít a very vibrant album, but that doesnít really matter since Bird creates an atmospheric masterpiece by clashing a load of ďquirky" instruments together.
The whole feel and mood of the album is not to complex. Everything is sort of quiet and mellow. Bird refrains from rocking out for the most part, I suppose thatís a good thing since the music is artistically beautiful. There are some simply beautiful melodies and rhythms, Birds violin work is simply flawless. Itís just so damn smooth and weaves in and out of the songs perfectly to create a whimsical and atmospheric feel. At first the album was sort of a snoozer, with the exception of the heavy pop tune ĎFake Palindromesí nothing really stood out and I kept getting frustrated with the lack of excitement. After a few listens I realized that the music was rapidly growing on me as I felt myself getting more into the whole hypnotic part of the album. Things will sound fairly similar at first, but after multiple listens Eggs will suck you in with its hypnotic, and twee-pop sound.
Another positive aspect of the album is how Andrew Birds voice fits in nearly perfectly with the whole hypnotic feel of the album. Another interesting thing about Bird is that he is noted as a professional whistler. While most people can whistle, I think that it is taken to the next level, a perfect example would be the albums untitled opener. Birds whistling mixes in perfectly with the relaxing western feel of the song. As for his actual voice, it is also excellent. He has sort of a laid back voice, and it is also extremely soothing. If Bird just recorded himself singing I would buy it, just because it would instantly put me into a deep sleep. His deep, and melancholy tone is very attractive, and in addition to the beautiful rhythms Bird sounds heartwarming and loving. Iím not sure if any of you have ever heard of a man named Sufjan Stevens? If you have Andrews voice sounds quite similar to his only he tends to slur his words more and has a much deeper voice. Plus, Mr. Bird is a pro whistler, so take that Sufjan!
When it comes to range, and different ideas presented in the music this is were Eggs does not excel. ĎFake Palindromesí is the albums highlight, and possibly the most energetic and poppy track featured on the album. It contains a quick violin line accompanied by some smooth drumming. Birds vocals are whimsical and upbeat, just like the rest of the song. ĎSovayí is a soft, heartwarming tune consisting of only Birds deep low sung vocals and a mellow acoustic guitar line. Soothing xylophone notes come in and out of the chorus, making this an ambient masterpiece. ĎTables and Chairsí is another poppy, acoustic driven track. The acoustic riff is choppy and warm, and more twinkly effects come into the mix. Bird creates sort of an atmospheric pop tune with the combo of upbeat acoustics and hand chimes.
I could go on and describe each track on Eggs, but that would put you to sleep and itís unnecessary. None of the songs drone on for to long, each reaching around the four to five minute mark. Things will sound fairly similar throughout the album, but after listening to it for quite some time you will be able to pick out different aspects of each tracks such as chiming noises, butterfly effects and so on.
To wrap things up Iím going to make a quick reference to my opening statement. I used to hate orchestras and growled whenever I had to listen to a violin player. I bet some of you are the same exact way, I mean come on who wants to go hear some wuss strum his violin? Andrew Bird turned everything around for me, this album is basically what got me to respect violin players and orchestra music. While Eggs can be a big fat snooze at times upon multiple listened things should grow on you and than you will find yourself trapped in the mysterious, hypnotic, dreary, and interesting world of Andrew Bird and The Mysterious Production of Eggs.