Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birdy- Fire Within (2014)

Why did I review the album? Not About Angels and her cover album convinced me to give her original content a chance
Did I like it? Eventually
Will I listen again? To some tracks
The majority of the problems I have with this album are my own and in no way Birdy’s fault. For some reason I was expecting an R&B type album. I didn’t get that, but looking back I shouldn’t have expected it. I believe that’s the issue though. I had preconceived notions that were misguided. Her first album was one based largely off covers of other artists, so I didn’t know what she specialized in.
I’ve found that most albums have a purpose, but I couldn’t find out what Fire Within’s purpose is. So, I felt like I was taking a journey with no end. I was listening to a random collection of songs that did not have a main theme to tie them together.
Despite all that, I still enjoyed the album. Birdy has amazing talent and listening to her sing is a pleasure every time. Add the fact that her songs are not over produced and I’m bound to be pleased. That’s the part I like best concerning this album. Many times when artists are signed to labels they run from the basics and instead opt for over produced beats that interfere with the quality that originally made the artist successful. Birdy doesn’t fall into that trap and the album is better because of that fact. I’d gladly listen to her next album. 
Is it what I envisioned? Not quite. Does that make it bad? Of course not.
If you like great singers and are willing to try something that’s not R&B I’d definitely give Fire Within a listen.
My Favs
3. All About You
2.  No  Angel
1. Strange Birds
Overall Rating: 3/5 Spins

Wings-This one has a rock influenced sound that didn’t mesh as well as I’d like, but it’s a good attempt at trying something different. 2.5/5
Heart of Gold- This is what I was expecting when I picked up this cd. A simple beat that allows her voice to steal the show. 3/5
Light it Up-I can definitely see this working as a single. It’s upbeat, kind of excessive, and easy to like. 3/5
Words as Weapons-I really like the sound of this one. Each sound is used for a purpose and all work together to create a stronger effect than each would on its own. The guitar works as the base for the song and never dissipates, but at certain points it does let other instruments take center stage.  The violin and piano work together to create a sense of melancholy that was subtle, but appreciated. 3.5/5
All You Never Say- This song is similar to Ariana Grande’s Almost is Never Enough in that the subject matter is identical. It’s weird because this song made me feel as though I was being dragged into something very unpleasant. The song has a dreary quality to it, but given the lyrics I think that works. 3.5/5  
Strange Birds- I was drawn to this song from the beginning. The piano immediately brought a sense of foreboding. It a moody and atmospheric song.
I’m not sure if my interpretation of this song is correct, but indulge me. I believe it’s talking about two people that are close or were in a relationship in the past.  Now she want the relationship to grow into something more and thinks that they are perfect for each other because he appreciates her despite her flaws (ugly pretties).
For me this is the most creative song on the album. Instead of making a straightforward love song she fills it with symbolism and vivid imagery. This is also the first love song that sounds creepy and daunting which is a twist on the usual love song formula.  
For some reason, this song reminded me of kind of song Amy Winehouse would make. 5/5
Maybe-   A dose of lightheartedness and possibly inspirational song that halts (at least temporarily) the depressing and foreboding nature of the last few tracks. 3/5
No Angel- I really like this song. The layered piano hooked me from the start. Also, vocally this is Birdy’s strongest song. Strange thing to say? Well, let me explain. She understood the nature of the song and responded to it. In the song she is deeply troubled by the situation she’s in and I felt every bit of anguish and confusion the lyrics were relaying to me.
Also I like the idea of accepting people as they are. Too often people put others on a pedestal and are upset when their illusion about that person is shattered. Also I like the idea of being confident despite imperfections.  Coincidentally, BeyoncĂ©’s No Angels handles this topic as well. 4.5/5
All About You- Oddly, this song reminds me of Ed Sheeran Even My Dad Does Sometimes. If you examine the songs, they are discussing the same topic; even if you don’t think your life is worth living/ important, (insert artist here) does. Each person is suffering from depression for various reasons, each has lost his will to live, and each has someone that values him/her.
At first the upbeat nature of this song confused me because it’s a very serious song, but I can understand the idea behind the choice behind it. By getting this person to realize that his life is important, s/he can begin to find meaning in life, therefore the uplifting beat serves as a ray of hope. 4/5
Standing in the Way of the Light- I liked this song, until I didn’t.  The first 2 ½ minutes of the song were great, but for the song decided to continue to escalade. I could make the same argument about the beat as I did for the last track, but even if that is the case, it was a bit too much for me. 3/5

Shine- I wonder why they decided to place these last two songs next to each other. They have the same message and makes these tracks repetitive. It would have been smarter to put one of these tracks in the beginning, so it’s not as obvious. Either that or one of the songs should be removed. Personally, I like this one better because has a tinge of R&B influence and doesn’t engage in excessive escalation. 3.5/5          


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