(03.2007, Fat Possum)
I guess now is as good a time as any to remember Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha released in March of this year. Fitting for me at least because it has taken quite a bit of time to really discover the wonderful integrity of this album. When FG first started this summer we wanted to review this but no one knew what to say. Following up Mysterious Production of Eggs, one of my favourite albums of all time, it was hard not to be over excited about Armchair Apocrypha. Then, when I listened to it, though I desperately wanted to fall in love with it, there seemed to be nothing that stuck and I would fail to make it through the first few tracks before having to bow out. It quickly went on the back burner as an abundance of additional, wonderful albums came only to resurface occasionally, either when I noticed it while mindlessly scrolling through my Ipod or when I heard parts of it in NPR interlude music. It was only recently that I finally found the circumstances to listen to it as a whole, and then re-listen, and then listen again. First of all let me state this for everyone who has shared my early disillusionment about the album: we missed the mark folks. Armchair Apocrypha contains all the beauty of Andrew Birds subtle, wry lyricism, offbeat instrumentation and, of course, that whistle. The album simply suffers from bad sequencing. For those with great expectations the slow beginning is deflating. However, patience and repeat listening will convert you to every song (even album opener “Fiery Crash” of which I felt destined to skip over every time I listened to the album). After the initial learning curve, Armchair Apocrypha reveals itself as another breezy album of Andrew Bird’s and one of his most rewarding accomplishments to date.
Andrew Bird on Virb