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Generals


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Audio CD, June 5, 2012
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Music

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Biography

Before Georgie James, Laura Burhenn (half of the former DC duo) had spent her early years crafting music on her own. So when Georgie James split, she went back to what she knew. In the spring of 2009, Laura gathered her favorite books, records, and people around her and wrote what would become the first album from her new band, The Mynabirds.

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood ... Read more in Amazon's The Mynabirds Store

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Generals + What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood + Boys & Girls
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • ASIN: B007TBCTS4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,974 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Karma Debt
2. Wolf Mother
3. Generals
4. Radiator Sister
5. Disaster
6. Mightier Than the Sword
7. Body of Work
8. Disarm
9. Buffalo Flower
10. Greatest Revenge

Editorial Reviews

Following 2010's critically acclaimed debut What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood and a year on the road touring as part of Bright Eyes, singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn teamed up with producer Richard Swift again and emerged with Generals, a sophomore album fully armed. In place of the Zen meditations found on the Mynabirds' first album, Generals is filled with armies of stomps and claps, sweeping full spectrum orchestrations, and moments that range from intensely personal pleas to shout-out-loud protests with teeth.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Daniel TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 5, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
I'm really not even sure where Mynabirds came from or why I haven't been listening to them sooner. GENERALS is Mynabirds' second full-length album, and it sounds markedly different from its predecessor. Singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn's latest effort feels more purposeful and more direct. GENERALS never sounds angry or angsty, but it sounds driven and determined.

I have a hard time describing this album; it's hard to pick out each individual influence that penetrates the content here. Tribal percussion, 70's rock guitar, dreamy reverb, poppy hand-claps, industrial rhythm sections, GENERALS has a bit of everything. All of these sounds are bound together by Burhenn's often soulful voice. The closest comparison I can draw is probably David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy of albums (LOW, HEROES, and LODGER). The album isn't without its blemishes though: the ballads don't quite live up to the more propulsive songs ("Mightier than the Sword," and "Greatest Revenge.") The rhythm-and-blues tinged "Buffalo Flower" doesn't quite catch the listener either.

For its few faults though, most of the album feels as if it were made with a sure-hand. The album is opened by the electronic-tinged "Karma Debt." The title track "Generals" feels like Mynabirds are calling for a revolution; it's bluesy, stomping, and rhythmic. "Radiator Sister" oozes with attitude, but it's punctuated by a great pop sensibility. The waltz closing track "Greatest Revenge" eventually opens up in a beautiful soundscape by Burhenn chants "I give it all." You can't help but feel like she's talking to the listener here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. McLemore on February 11, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
I guess you would classify this type of music as rock. I'm more of a rap fan but I'm always open to other genres. Good music knows no genre in my opinion so that's why I decided to try this album out.

I'll start by saying that this is a beautiful piece of work. Most of the vocals are handled by Laura Burhenn and she clearly takes that responsibility seriously. Her voice is beautiful and her lyrics are not heavily centered on love, which is something I was sort of expecting from a female artist. She gets political on "Greatest Revenge" and can also be uplifting as showcased "Body of Work," but those topics are not limited to those songs. However, the topic matter is never a hindrance to how fun the song is. For example, 'Disarm' questions why figurative or literal brothers fight, yet if you didn't pay attention to the lyrics you'd think it was a poppy, happy song. It is a very catchy album. Each song, while not directly saying it, seems to want you to sing along.

Sometimes albums that have great production such as this one will overshadow what is being said by drowning the vocals in the instrumental but the beat allows Laura's voice to be heard and vice versa. It's a joy to listen to no matter what type of music you are usually drawn to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KC Bandit on August 10, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I fell in love with the Mynabirds first album, What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood, and had the pleasure of seeing them live in Des Moines, IA, in March 2012. I met lead singer Laura Burhenn after the show and not only was she ridiculously nice, she was very humble and enthusiastic about her music and her talent. I heard my first taste of Generals at that show and was beyond impressed. The studio album holds up against their live performance as a rocking follow-up to their gospel-inspired previous album. This is a band I will DEFINITELY be keeping my eye on in the future. Well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By concretecowgirl98 on February 16, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Heard a song on Grey's Anatomy, and fell in love with this different sounding band! So good, I bought their other cd!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Demerjian on July 10, 2012
Format: Audio CD
hey, my title rhymes! well, sort of- kind of like this mynabirds album is catchy... sort of. Don't get me wrong- I have a good amount of respect for the group (even though it's less of a group and more of a one woman show) and don't feel like they needed to duplicate their debut album. With that said, let me say this; the debut album, What we Lose in the Fire We gain in the Flood was a mix of Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Carole King's Tapestry and The Zombies (to a lesser extent but it's there if you listen closely enough to some of the deliveries). That means it was full of gorgeous production a la the 1970s, subtle horn arrangements, strong but not overpowering piano, soulful and purposeful vocals and great melodies. I never reviewed it but would've given it five stars without question.
This second album, Generals, does not attempt to imitate the first and for that I commend Laura Burhenn, the singer/ songwriter of the group. Depending on how sophomore albums go, I would sometimes recommend a group simply stick with what worked the first time around and had the Mynabirds done that I wouldn't have thought less of them. However, this album is a bit of a departure and I am okay with that because it doesn't sound like the group is wandering in the dark looking for material to fulfill a recording contract.
Instead of Dusty Springfield's horn sound and soul from Dusty in Memphis, this time we get more of an affected, dark electric guitar sound to accompany the piano. Between this and the abundant clapping/ stomping of percussion I hear Depeche Mode (circa Black Celebration or Music for the Masses) mixed with early Bowie more than Dusty Springfield.
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