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The Swimming Hour
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Top Customer Reviews
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".
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 ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A horrible effort by Bird, who has up until now had my respect, as a highly artistic and creative player and leader. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Prince Nez
Wow was I shocked at the lack of artistic quality on this cd. I am used to being able to buy an Andrew Bird cd, and get "hot" creative and even improvised gypsy jazz... Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003
I think Andrew Bird is not swimming, but drowning his talnet in shallow(no pun intenede) pop music. This is a commerical, and not in the least bit an artistic release. Read morePublished on Dec 26 2003 by Prince Nez
People who think an artist should stay in the same musical box forever should just go listen to Nickelback. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2003
Listen. My wife likes all this swing and vocal stuff. I am not big on it. I'm more on the rock side, I like a pop hook and I like lyrics and I like interesting instrumentation... Read morePublished on July 31 2003 by Matthew M. Miller
How bizarre! A recent favorite group, Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire, has taken a major strange detour. I had been playing two of their earlier albums, "Oh! Read morePublished on March 8 2003
Well, we all know that artists must grow and develope in different paths and all that stuff. But when I buy a new Philip Glass album, I don't expect to hear Motely Crue! Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2003 by f s
Truly one of the best albums in the last two years, by anyone. Do the artist and society a favor by actually buying this, regardless of th pricey cost, as he deserves the money... Read morePublished on June 13 2002 by SkewedPerspective-dbrowell
Yes his first two albums were great, but this one is fantastic; and DIFFERENT! It's amazing how people want artists to keep playing the same stuff over and over. Read morePublished on April 20 2002