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Swimming Hour

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Audio CD, April 3, 2001
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A Reverse Chronology of Selected Significant Dates & Events

"Bird could be the only performer who's lit up both Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo with a combination of vocals, violin, guitar, glockenspiel and whistling... he uses centuries-old instrumentation to give depth and soul to folk rock."--ESQUIRE "The Masters Are Dead--Long Live The Masters," November ... Read more in Amazon's Andrew Bird Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 3, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00005ARFB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,988 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Two Way Action
2. Core And Rind
3. Why?
4. 11:11
5. Case In Point
6. Too Long
7. Way Out West
8. Waiting To Talk
9. Fatal Flower Garden
10. Satisfied
11. Headsoak
12. How Indiscreet
13. Dear Old Greenland

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 24 customer reviews
It's fun, beautiful, and thought-provoking (what lyrics!)
Éponine Thénardier
This is the song you hear when you fall in love for the first time.
I'm a Radio-Head
Truly one of the best albums in the last two years, by anyone.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Bowers on March 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm admitting up front- This is the only album I have heard from Andrew Bird, (no rhyme intended) but I'm very impressed. Borrowing from many different musical genres- traditional pop, jazz, latin, country, etc, he can be critcized for sounding derivitive/contrived. However, from my perspective he suceeds at borrowing elements, but at the same time introducing something uniquely Andrew Bird in each song. After all music is not created in a vacuum. Its obvious that he is a gifted songwriter, singer, and musician from hearing this, but I noticed that there are a couple 1 star reviews. They read a bit like the pretentious 'he fell off/ sold out after he released his first album.' I can never understand this type of stupidity. Its as if some people want the same album released over and over again. Or maybe its the ol' "I listened to him way back before he was born"

Update- Now that I've listened to his other albums, this one still stands up as very good. Its not the first of his albums that I'd reach for today (that would be Oh! The grandeur), but its the most accessible and is solid throughout. He has changed his approach dramatically from album to album, but the quality remains for all of them. The albums before "Oh! the Grandeur" are weaker than the rest
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Strange as it seems, someone has reviewed this album... by comparing The Bowl of Fire's new direction (a direction they were hinting at all along) as akin to the "mainstream" sounds of Dave Matthews. While this same reviewer obviously provides useful biographical information regarding Bird and band, I think the analogy to Dave Matthews is wrong. And I think so because, whatever his merits may be, I find Dave Matthews' music to be antithetical, in effect, to Andrew Bird's. Bird is passionate, clever, self-aware, and always pushing his own envelope -- he continues to innovate & on his own terms. Dave Matthews, on the other hand, has never done anything but bore me, mostly since his music never develops, it just lopes along, on and on, in that queasy "jam band" style I personally don't enjoy.
That said, "The Swimming Hour" could just as well appeal to any kind of music fan. The songs seem, for lack of a better word, necessary -- as if they just HAD to happen that way. Like all great art (sure, this is "pop" -- which is why its greatness is that much more of a rarity), having it around makes me, and may make you, just want to perservere. And, cyber-shoppers, remember, the sound-bytes online just don't do these songs justice. Take my word for it, then take your own.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lucien Desar on April 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Buy it. The best way to describe his music is 1920-1930's style of music blending in elements of New Oreleans Jazz and gypsy undertones. Andrew Bird is best known for his superb ability to play the violin and his past history was playing the classical violin but then decided to move into bluegrass, folk, and swing music. He was for a time the violin player for the Squirrel Nut Zippers and had opened up for them with Bowl Of Fire .
This album actually has something for everyone. The first few tracks are for the more mainstream artsy college crowd (think Dave Matthews with a violin). The middle tracks move into exciting territory which is his own signature style with more swing/jazz/bluegrass feel to it(think Squirrel Nut Zippers meets Frank Sinatra meets Dean Martin). Then it moves onto a little Rockbilly and then back to the swing/jazz/bluegrass/folk feel. It's difficult to really pinpoint his style he has a highly polished voice with dark germanic/gypsy/folk undertones in his music which is the only way I can describe it.
He has added a new lineup for Bowl Of Fire and the only remaining player is Kevin O'Donnell for drums. Also added is Nora O'Connor for female vocals which blended with Mr Bird's voice blends wonderfully. If you have listened to Mr Bird's earlier albums you will note this one is more polished and produced then the previous one (they sound great live).
My particular favorites are "Way Out West" , "Fatal Flower Garden" & "Dear Old Greenland".
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Éponine Thénardier on April 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I love this Cd. I'd listened to "Oh, the Grandeur" nonstop for weeks, so I'd been eagerly awaiting "the Swimming Hour." Initially, I listened to S.H. and was appalled. How could this be the same Andrew Bird I had grown to love!? This was rock and not jazz! And now he has backup singers?!
So I put the CD back in the case and didn't listen to it for a year. DO NOT MAKE MY MISTAKE! (How many hours of pleasure had I denied myself in that year...?) I'd only listened to it once, but eventually I slipped this CD into the player again... and after some listening, I adored it!
At first, it's shocking to hear Andrew play pop/rock, but then it grows on you and it's hard to take the CD player off "repeat one" to hear another song. His use of the violin in modern-sounding (yet unclassifiable) music is ingenious. Andrew has pulled off the impossible and made a violin a rock instrument.
This Cd is perfect for driving down the expressway with the windows rolled down and the car stereo cranked way up. It's fun, beautiful, and thought-provoking (what lyrics!) all at the same time. 11:11- oh! What a song! soothing violin with his signature strumming over the top melts away and is replaced by rhythm guitar accenting some hardcore sawing at the fiddle, in that way that only Andrew can play. Amazing. You need this CD!
This album is *not* a sell-out effort. We are talking about a man who had never listened to anything but classical music until directly before he made this CD. All of his albums are different, and show off how versatile he truly is. I am fond of saying, "Andrew has a CD for every mood!" This is the crazy, hyper album.*
And do yourself a favor and see him play live! I drove 3 1/2 hours to see him and he was absolutely stunning!
Read more ›
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