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Why Do Birds Sing?

Violent Femmes Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.14
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Product Details


1. American Music
2. Out The Window
3. Look LIke That
4. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
5. Hey Nonny Nonny
6. Used To Be
7. Girl Trouble
8. He Likes Me
9. Life Is A Scream
10. Flamingo Baby
11. Lack Of Knowledge
12. More Money Tonight
13. I'm Free

Product Description

Product Description

Product Description

Violent Femmes ~ Why Do Birds Sing? (Us Version)

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame these guys aren't huge... June 12 2004
Format:Audio CD
...considering the quality of the music they have shared with the world throughout the last 21 years or so.
While not as urgent and raw as their masterpiece first album, Why Do Birds Sing? is their second best. I picked this up in June of 1991, after having heard their first album a few times while in high school a few years earlier and forgetting about them. What sold me on this album was the cover...for some reason, it was (and still is) one of my favorite album covers of all time.
Of course, after unwrapping the cassette and popping it in, I realized it was much more than a nice package. "American Music" should have become an American anthem that summer (a summer when "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones just wouldn't go away), and "Out the Window" is very catchy (as well as disturbingly funny).
One of my favorite tracks, and still one of the greatest cover tunes of all time, is the Femmes' remake of "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" Gordan Gano changes the lyrics up a bit and makes it an achy, bittersweet tune, as opposed to the keyboarded stiffness of the original.
The addition of strings makes "Used to Be" a little overproduced sounding, but it's a depressing song and the brushed snare drum (one of the Femmes' signature sounds) help make it work. Allow yourself into it for a lovely, melancholy few minutes.
The album closes with "I'm Free," a sweet little ode to Gordan's own life. Almost a country song, it's a great way to finish the album.
Overall, it's a great, great album, and it's shameful that it was so overlooked.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exotically Formal Femmes Dec 26 2003
Format:Audio CD
What a great album. Opens with the notorious "American Music", ends with the country inspired gem "I'm Free", and in between exhibits a vibrant variety of music, using elements of Pop, Folk, Country, Rock and Punk to generate a sort of "undressed new wave sound" that only the Violent Femmes could have the ingenuity to create. As with every Femmes album, "Why Do Birds Sing?" puts an interesting spin on the established Femmes sound. Keyboards and Organs play a previously nonresident role, and many instruments are introduced into the Femmes' musical vocabulary. Ukeleles, Conga Drums, Tambourines, Jaw Harps, Mellotrons, and drummer Victor Delorenzo's own invention, the "Tranceaphone" are among the interesting tools used to create the album. Though do not be fooled by the seemingly odd choice of instrumentation, the Violent Femmes are anything but some obscure emotionless act. Their unique sonances blend with accustomed Rock melodies to develop a very natural and pure sound, creating songs of exclusive charm.
Gordon Gano, Singer/Guitarist, presents beautifully ambigious songwriting in a class of its own. The reason Femmes songs are loved so dearly by so many different types of people, is that they represent that which we can all relate to; the inevitable clash of venerating, joyous innocence, with dark, dolorous truths which will always haunt our psyche. Harsh realities affect our emotions in a way that nothing else can, and Gordon uses humour to deliver recollections of these disturbingly honest moments we all share.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Do you like American music? Nov. 9 2002
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
1991's Why Do Birds Sing?, the Violent Femmes' fifth album, has never received the acclaim it deserves. Only the trio's first album is more consistently enjoyable. This album does not have the raw passion of the Femmes' earliest music, but it showcases the kind of quirky, unique sound that defines this eccentric band. American Music really should have been a hit, featuring the kind of pop sound that should appeal to a mainstream audience that, to a significant degree, doesn't even know this group exists. Out the Window, Look Like That, Used to Be, and Girl Trouble are toe-tappers easy and fun to sing along with. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me is a classic; don't worry about this being a Culture Club cover because its delivery is so uniquely Femmes that it took me a while to even realize the original source of the song. Hey Nonny Nonny and Flamingo Baby are just fun, somewhat nonsensical tracks. Life is a Scream is, ahem, a real scream, providing the listener with a great outlet for releasing any pent-up frustrations of his/her own. The whole album is rather cathartic, with the final track, I'm Free, basically summing up the effect of this music on the listener.
More Money Tonight is a little celebration of revenge, as lead singer Gordon Gano taunts all the people who laughed at him in the past, proclaiming he can make more money tonight than they can even dream of. One of my favorite VF songs of all time is He Likes Me. Don't get the wrong idea about this one-the "he" Gano is talking about is "her" new man. Anyone who has been forced to be nice to the guy dating the girl you are crazy about will have no trouble relating to these lyrics.
This is probably the Violent Femmes' most mainstream album; there is definitely a pop sound to most of the music.
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