Andrew Bird

Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)

Phases & Stages

Andrew Bird

Armchair Apocrypha (Fat Possum)

Taking flight from the retro swing of his Bowl of Fire, Chicago-based troubadour Andrew Bird gets comfortable in the nest he's been building since 2003's Weather Systems. While nothing on his Fat Possum debut, Armchair Apocrypha, is as instantly engaging as "Fake Palindromes" from 05's Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs, "Imitosis" and "Plasticities" are more intricate and intimate, creating backdrops of pedal-looped pizzicato violin, acoustic and electric guitar, and xylophone, on top of which Bird spills his quivering poetry and thereminlike whistling. Slow pacing reveals a handful of sleepers ("Cataracts," "Spare-ohs"), with sideman Martin Dosh on percussion, Wurlitzer, and atmospheric noises, Bird coming closest to pop perfection with grandiose waltz "Armchairs" and spacious, thought-provoking centerpiece "Darkmatter." "Yawny at the Apocalypse" closes the album with an ethereal instrumental. Bird continues spreading his wings.

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