Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs
(Righteous Babe Records)
Friday, February 24th
Weber Music Hall UMD
Born in Chicago and now in his thirties, Andrew Bird may be hitting the pinnacle of songwriting. His new album, Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs is a trip through a world of “accidental suicide” and “a nervous tic motion of the head to the left.” It also is softly melodic and lulls you into deep lyrical thought using a maze of music.
The CD begins with a long videogamesque intro. After a few moments the music grows softer and the second song, “ Savoy” begins. The changes are what begin to real you in, but there is a slight eeriness to the intricate melodies. This song grabs attention and leads into the best tune on the album, “A Nervous Tic Motion Of The Head To The Left”. What this one does really well is take all of Andrew’s experimental sounds and capture a real moment. There was a “Michelle” meets 1970s sci-fi feel with a violin filling in here and there. The beat trots and stays straight while the violin cruises around the corners. The lyrics are perfectly emphasized by the music and everything hits the note. Andrew has a full voice with a rounded tone, like a wider ranged Beck.
“Fake Palindromes” crashes in next with an electric onslaught of sounds all gliding together. This sails through the intro and then the song slows down. It has an up-tempo young artsy feel, and Andrew sings, “blood in her eyes in her eyes for you.” The nice thing about this song is that it has some teeth to it in the chorus. A bit harder, there are moments where the bass plays a classic train beat while the music riding the rails is all 1980s. This juxtaposition works into a tune that ends with wrists bound in leather and drilling “a tiny hole into your head.”
Not everything is slow dark death though, “Measuring Cups” is a contemplative military song about childhood. Andrew sings, “be the good little soldier / it’s no different when you’re older / you’re predisposed / that’s all for questions now / the case is closed!”
“Banking on a Myth” has a slithering guitar and effects that emphasize a starry chorus. There are also dark sequences with guitar solos and background electronic ambience. Like many other songs on the album this one is softer. The entire CD is intuitive and great to relax or just listen to. You really have a sense of the thought that goes into each piece of music that Andrew writes.
Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire was his first band. They recorded three albums from 1997 to 2001 for Rykodisc: Thrills, Oh! The Grandeur, and Swimming Hour. He is now with Righteous Babe Records and has out, Weather Systems, and two live recordings. His live violin/guitar show has toured with the likes of My Morning Jacket, Magnetic Fields, Lambchop, and Ani DiFranco. On The Mysterious Production of Eggs Andrew plays almost everything heard. He is joined by collaborators Kevin O’Donnell on drums and Nora O’Connor singing harmonies.
At Andrew’s live shows he plays the songs different each time. On many occasions while making his albums he would switch studios or have trouble deciding the perfect blend of classical and electronics. When he hits the perfect combination his music is destined for greatness. Soft, deep and with complimenting sounds he created a great CD to relax to and has alive show to marvel at.