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Armchair Apocrypha

58 customer reviews

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Armchair Apocrypha
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Audio CD, March 20, 2007
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$11.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 17 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Armchair Apocrypha + Noble Beast + Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs
Price for all three: $37.54

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Filled with layers of violin, glockenspiel, vocal harmonies, guitar, piano, and the most amazing whistling, Armchair Apocrypha is the latest from Andrew Bird (Chicago, IL.). Bird enlisted his touring drummer Martin Dosh (a.k.a. Dosh) and several other musicians to create this melancholy collage of gentle pop songs. Primaily a violinist, Andrew Bird has pioneered his own distinct sound as an eclectic instrumentalist and songwriter."Violinist-guitarist Andrew Bird goes further, filling his richly ornamented yet understated alt-pop with allusions to actual lab work." - Jon Dolan - BLENDER

Amazon.com

Strip away the music of an Andrew Bird song, and you're left with brilliant prose ("across the great chasms and schisms and the sudden aneurysms"), vignettes about mentally fending off plane crashes, infiltrating characters like the kings of Macedonia and Lou Dobbs, and titles such as "Yawny at the Apocalyspe." It's hard to believe that, really, his music reigns, but when Bird adds understated acoustic guitars, Wurlitzer and Rhodes, and his own mesmerizing pizzicato violin, his songs take on a progressive mood all their own. The Chicago Bird's tenth album (and his debut for extraordinary Mississippi blues label Fat Possum) is perhaps his most diverse, expansive, and resourceful yet, catering to a half-dozen genres of music while exploring storylines that are naïve ("Dark Matter"), candid ("Fiery Crash"), and blatantly comical ("Armchairs"). Making no palpable effort to crack the conventional with overflowing melodies and love songs, Bird instead latches up the intellect to create tiny packages of literature that make always leave you thinking--and snapping your fingers at the same time. --Scott Holter


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Fiery Crash 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Imitosis 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Plasticities 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Heretics 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Armchairs 7:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Dark Matter 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Simple X 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. The Supine0:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Cataracts 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Scythian Empires 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Spare-ohs 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Yawny at the Apocalypse 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 20, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fat Possum Records
  • ASIN: B000MV9A1C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,016 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Michael Frunzi on March 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
After his stunning 2005 release "Andrew Bird and the Mysterious Production of Eggs", I was worried that Andrew Bird would not be able to live up to the ridiculously high standards that that album and his incredible live performances had established for him. My fears were completely unjustified, as "Armchair Apocrypha" certainly meets if not exceeds any and all expectations.

While it's not quite as long as his last album (10 vocal and 2 instrumental tracks), each song is different and beautiful in its own way. Bird has stayed true to his style (violins, xylophones and his trademark whistling) but continued to develop his sound, and is the equal of Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, Sufjan or any other Indie Sweetheart band out there today. His lyrics are poetically uplifting one minute and dreadfully macabre the next, but always clever, insightful and unique.

What sets Bird apart is his uncanny knack to be a complete individual while producing music that remains 100% palatable. This is truly a superior record; it is a must-have for any Bird fan and anyone else who loves music slightly off the beaten track.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jason Bunting on March 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Although I am still quite fond of his earlier work (Thrills, Oh! The Grandeur and The Swimming Hour), I must admit that Bird keeps getting better and better. I don't know that I would characterize this as being "dark" per se (as many of the other reviewers have) but Bird definitely deals with subject matters that are not typical of pop music (thank heavens!).

It is helpful to know that many of these songs have evolved from earlier works, and that often his lyrics are not as significant as people hope them to be. What I mean is that, according to his own account, Bird often puts things together because of a sound inherent in their audible manifestation rather than because of a meaning he wishes to convey. The fun part is trying to figure out which lyrics are there for the latter and which for the former.

Scythian Empires has to be the best piece on this album as far as composition, in my opinion; but the album wouldn't be the same without Dark Matter, Spare-Ohs, and Imitosis (the long-awaited 'official' incarnation of what was once 'Capital I').

Anyway, just do yourself a favor and get this album! Check out "The Official Unofficial Andrew Bird Fansite" for lyrics and other such and similar things.

Also: if you ever get the chance, you will want to see Bird live - it is unlike anything you have ever seen before. That may sound trite, but it is true nonetheless.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By somethingexcellent VINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Never content to sit still and make the same record over and over again, Andrew Bird is one of those artists that creates delightful music that is enjoyed by everyone from jam-band audiences to NPR-listeners to people who might not normally go for his slightly more mellow brand of indie pop. I fall into those latter two groups, and although I don't consider myself a member of the typical coffee-house crowd, I do appreciate good songs, and Bird has really been honing his craft, culminating in a good album with Weather Systems, a great album in The Mysterious Production Of Eggs, and now another gem in Armchair Apocrypha.

For one thing, Bird is one of only a handful or two of current singer songwriters who I consider to be a truly great lyricist. True, he gets a bit clever for his own good in a few places, but his word craft is simply outstanding in most places, conjuring up thoughtful lines that capture the beauty, frustrations, happiness, and downright absurdity of the world we live in. His music follows suit largely as well, with songs that move on odd time signatures with interesting instrumentation and of course touches of his whimsical whistling.

One thing that's easy to notice about the new album is that guitar is used much more prominently than on his other albums, and usually it's not a bad thing at all. Opener "Fiery Crash" mixes electric piano, swoops of strings, some shuttling drums, and subdued vocals with dark lyrics into a gem of a song that begs for singing along. "Imitosis" follows, and again finds Bird plumbing his psyche lyrically while recycling a melody from both of his previous albums and turning in a song that betters both of them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Katz on December 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is an album comparable in scope to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot or In the Airplane Over the Sea. It is brilliant, sprawling and grand while containing exceedingly sharp song writing and catchy hooks the whole way through. In terms of progression, Bird's last outing, the excellent Mysterious Production of Eggs was a bit poppier, a tad less ambitious and more accessible (much like Wilco's Summerteeth, sorry to stay with this metaphor but Wilco fans might appreciate the point of reference).
Armchair Apocrypha took a few listens to sink in, and since then I haven't been able to stop telling people about it. Each track is something unique, the 7 minute Armchair probably being the unifying masterpiece that the rest of the tracks are built around.
Buy this and listen to it. It is my album of the year (or Iron and Wine, how can i choose?) and if Bird had Wilco's publicity sense, it would be a huge seller.
I love it.
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