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Oh - The Grandeur

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 24, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 24-AUG-1999

Amazon.com

Violinist Andrew Bird earned well-deserved acclaim for his 1998 debut CD, Thrills, and its cabaret-meets-hot-jazz energy. Oh! The Grandeur is the much-anticipated follow-up and is every bit as quirky and darkly perfect. It's got Bird's astringent fiddle cutting a wide swath through Colin Bunn's riff-strummed and breezy cool guitar and the clomping rhythms of Josh Hirsch's bass and Kevin O'Donnell's drums. And it's got Bird's round-edged voice rolling over lyrics that are alternately moody and slaphappy. The music is clearly indebted to the hot club jazz that's been built on the duo of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, but it also owes props to Kurt Weill and even Bob Wills. Bird might not ever make the morning talk show circuit in the U.S. (unlike his former band, Squirrel Nut Zippers), but he's got a lock on taking a wealth of American traditions and rolling them into an odd, endearing whole. --Andrew Bartlett
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 24, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00000JZ24
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I love this album- Andrew Bird's first two releases are remarkable, but this (his sophomore release) was, I think, an overall step-up from his debut, "Thrills." One of the hardest things I had to do last fall was select which songs from his first two albums would go on a burnt CD mix... There were too many...
I came to Mr. Bird when I discovered that he played violin on SqrlNtZprs albums. I wanted more SNZ, loved the directions they pursued with 'Perennial Favorites' but didn't care at all for 'Bedlam Ballroom.' The production, I felt was all wrong and stood in the way of any judments I could make concerning the album. It sounded slick, polished- and I couldn't stand that. So I tracked down some solo releases by individual members of the Zippers and ended up with the pleasure of Mr. Bird's music. When I first got this CD it didn't leave my CD player for a week and a half, which is rare, as I'm an impatient, moody, feckless, hard to please music aficianado...
Genre-wise this is all over the place, certainly not jazz or swing (not entirely at least, though by grounding himself in the music of a bygone era, Mr. Bird invokes a moody, theatrical vibe that stays with you). All the players know their place and everyone works tightly to maintain the overall ambience of the album. The mood, I feel is equal parts Kurt Weill, Tom Waits and something that is Mr. Bird's own entirely. His voice is on the good side of competent with a (fake?) slight accent and the perfect diction of singers from the 30's. In my head I imagine him looking like the singer from 'The Hudsucker Proxy,' from the scnene where all the women fawn over him (yeah, I know it takes place in the fifties which is the wrong time period, but still...).
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Format: Audio CD
Length - 48:18
Oh! The Grandeur! Andrew Bird is one of the greatest non sequiturs of my time. If this man lived in the 40s or 50s, I think he'd be considered one of the greatest song writers ever. He would have fit right in with Django Reinhardt or Irving Berlin, but at least he found the Squirrel Nut Zippers in his generation. He got his start with the Zippers, playing with them live for the first time in New Orleans, then staying on tour with them for the remainder of the year. Although this album strays a bit from the cherry poppin' verve of the Zippers, it's still fantastic in its own right. Some songs are just laughably lamentable. I don't know if these tracks are meant to be serious or what, but they come off as quite lugubrious, yet still thoroughly enjoyable. Other songs like Tea & Thorazine and Coney Island Shuffle are zestful cavalcades of swings, quips and thrills. My favorite song on here is the awesome closer, Drinking Song. If you're in the mood for a very different, very fun album, try this out.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is seductive and fun, dark and poetic--I absolutely love it! If you close your eyes while you play it, you can almost imagine that you are in some dark, incredibly chic lounge. There is red velvet everywhere, cool looking couches, and candles providing most of the light. Yes, this is that sort of album. Like a good vacation, it takes you someplace new and in the end you are better for the experience.
The use of violin and vocals on this album is positively brilliant. There is a jazzy sound which permeates every song.
Included with the CD is a small booklet (measuring 2.5"x1.5") which includes "testimonials, explanatory text, sing along lyric sheets, with illustrations, supplied as a complementary amusement." It boasts being, "an assortment of new songs, intermezzi, two-steps, and waltzes by the popular musical group, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire." And so it is!
There are two reasons you should buy this album. The first is that it is probably unlike any you already have in your collection. The second is that it is DAMN GOOD!
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Format: Audio CD
My friends are starting to get annoyed with me. Whenever talk of music comes up, I inevitably wind up blathering on about Andrew Bird and how incredible his music is.
I bought Oh! The Grandeur about a month ago, and haven't stop listening to it since. I've had Thrills for a good long while, and it's also been in very heavy rotation for me.
The songs on Oh! The Grandeur are slower than most of those on Thrills, and really show off Andrew's vocal talents. The arrangements are complex and executed with formidable skill; "Feetlips" and "Vidalia" are great examples, reminding me of Thrills' "Gris-Gris". Other favorite tracks of mine are "Candy Shop" and "Wishing for Contentment".
All in all, this is one of the best CDs I've bought in a long, long time. You'll be overjoyed with it if you like SNZ and the authentic hot jazz sound. Bird's wonderful lyrics, vocals, and violin really mustn't be missed.
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Format: Audio CD
When I talk about Andrew Bird I rarely end up making any sense at all. The reason for this is that Andrew Bird is so good that I can't put my thoughts into words. Every song on Oh! The Grandeur is brilliant and I don't even know what to say in order to really communicate exactly the extent to which each one is may be the best thing you'll ever listen to. Here it is: The song "Wait". That's it. Listen to the song "Wait". It's hard to say that it's my favorite song on the album because almost every song is a close call for that distinction, but good lord this is a good song. Don't sit here any longer reading reviews- Buy this album now.
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