I used to hate whistling, but my opinion drastically changed after listening to the “The Mysterious Production of Eggs.”
I first heard of Andrew Bird through a friend with a sophisticated taste for indie rock. We were jamming to the glorious electronica of Imogen Heap when she changed the song and a warm-toned album cover with a mysterious, green, four-legged beast of burden appeared on the computer screen.
“What is that?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t know, but the artist is Andrew Bird. His music is awesome,” she replied. I couldn’t really get into it and decided it was a little too indie for my taste.
A few months later, I gave Andrew Bird another chance and bought the album. The results proved very surprising.
“The Mysterious Production of Eggs” begins with a song dubbed “Untitled,” a somewhat quirky way to start off a wonderfully quirky album. This sets up the basic elements of Bird’s fifth album: wispy acoustic guitar, whistling, tambourine notes, and the striking emotion of a shrill violin.
Every song on “Eggs” consists of these elements, arranged beautifully. All the elements are combined with Bird’s soft, smoky voice.
And the whistling. How gorgeous! What a talent to harness! It totally transformed my view of the oral noise; what I usually hear is my sister’s off-key, scathing whistle, which is truly unappealing. Who knew the sound could be so sad, so soothing, so striking?
“Masterfade” perfectly displays whistling as delicately swallow-like and creates a new dimension for the songs. Clever lyrics, like “all you see are zeros and ones,” a reference to binary, and “tales of brothers Grimm and Gory” add interest.
Another aspect of Bird’s style is his violin playing. “Fake Palindromes” begins with an intense, swaying solo that sets it up as a rock-laced, upbeat song. “Opposite Day” starts with a high-pitched, synth riff which is intriguing and unexpected from Bird.
“Eggs” is truly a wonderful and innovative indie album. It combines unusual elements into something that is harmoniously executed – a mellow, thought-provoking blend of a man’s artistic musicality onto one amazing disc. This is a true auditory confection.
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