By Samuel Turner
Artist: Andrew Bird
Album: My Finest Work Yet
Release Date: March 22, 2019
Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Andrew Bird is an extremely seasoned artist with a massive arsenal of sounds and instruments at his disposal. These sounds/instruments include his own voice, his whistling capabilities and even more unconventional instruments like the glockenspiel, although his primary instrument is the violin. Bird expertly weaves together the sounds of different instruments in order to create the masterpiece that is his latest album, My Finest Work Yet, which released on March 22.
The entire album is chock-full with allusions to Greek mythology and art. The album cover is my absolute favorite example of this. Bird recreates the famous painting The Death of Marat, except he replaces the man in the bathtub, Marat, with himself. The painting itself references the murder of a French journalist in the 18th century and was an incredibly influential piece of art.
Bird opens up the album with a track titled “Sisyphus,” which begins with his iconic whistling expertise. In classic Andrew Bird style, this song is filled with interesting and complex musical melodies. His nimble voice easily navigates these complex phrases and tells the tale of Sisyphus, who in Greek Mythology is forced to push a large stone up a hill only to have it fall back down once it reaches the top.
The third track, titled “Olympians,” has a light, seemingly bouncing beat throughout most of the song. The track contains multiple ebbs and flows, building at some points followed by a sudden drop in energy and sound, only to build up again and eventually end in an enthusiastic and hopeful repetitive chanting of “We’re gonna turn it around, we’re gonna turn it around, we’re gonna turn it around,” that really drives home the feeling of confidence that things are going to start to change for the better.
“Fallorun,” the fifth track, is one of my favorite songs on the album. Bird introduces a new electronic sound, in addition to all the previous sounds and instruments he uses on the album, and it seamlessly adds a whole new layer of complexity. Again, his nimble voice nearly perfectly executes interesting phrases and verses. In “Fallorun,” Bird sings about a past relationship and uses the metaphor of how Rome wasn’t built in a day to show that relationships take time and shouldn’t be rushed. He also sings about how fickle relationships can be when he sings that it all fell apart in just a month.
Overall, I highly recommend this album. Bird uses his complex arsenal of sounds and instruments to create highly interesting, entertaining and thought provoking music. If you would like to listen to the album you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.