Andrew Bird – I Want to See Pulaski at Night
2013 – Grimsey Records
This album is subtle. Nothing knocks you over the head, it’s reserved at times, but much still happens. The texture created by layering violin upon violin upon whistling is enchanting. Andrew has an ear for knowing how the different techniques and attacks for playing his instrument will blend to create a fully engaging soundscape. The songs here are mostly instrumental, with the title track containing lyrics. The structure of these tunes strays from a normal rock or pop setting (verse, chorus, etc.) and falls more into classical theme and variations. He builds upon what is already there and shows the different ways that the same figure can be interpreted depending on its’ context. This album shows confidence in his ability as an instrumentalist and composer. Mr. Bird didn’t clutter things up, or try to show off his chops, he just played what was called for in the music. The album artwork fits perfectly, it is simple, yet effective. I love all of Andrew Bird’s work, but this album really stands apart from the rest. It sets the tone for a late, quiet, summer night (which come to think of it, matches many of the other albums that I’ve reviewed). This is a great place to start your exploration of the work of Andrew Bird.
* Even though this is a full size record, it runs at 45 rpm instead of 33 1/3 (which has caused me confusion a few times, where I’ve listened to half the first song too slowly). I made sure to have it at the right speed for review though.