Written By Taylor Munoz
Released on April 1st, solo indie rock artist Andrew Bird debuted his 13th studio album that is anything but a hoax. Are You Serious is a 13-song-long tale of a love lost; Bird digs deep into a strained and emotionally tolling romantic past to make a moody yet profoundly coherent record. Produced by industry guru Tony Berg, this record is one that keeps listeners on their feet. Opening track “Capsized” is one of the more rock oriented songs of the record. Featuring a solid and intriguing drum line and guitar, Bird gives a first impression to listeners that he has the capacity to make versatile fresh sounds. This track doesn’t have the typical sound coined by Bird in his many years of great success in music—it features less strings than usual and has a bit of attitude strung along in the lyrics. Second track “Roma Fade” returns the likeliness of true Andrew Bird sound—clever strings and drum line with painfully satisfying lyrics about a past love: “And if I see you, how it changes me, and if you see me, how it changes you.” “Left Handed Kisses,” featuring Fiona Apple is a clever, minimalistic, and fresh interpretation of Bird’s internal dialogue of the process of writing a love song.
Bird’s lyrics aren’t too shy to allow listeners to know that the master theme of this album is love in all its forms: love lost, love that hurt, love that faded out, and a love that lasted for the long haul. “Puma” address Bird’s wife’s battle of thyroid cancer after the birth of their first child in a blunt, almost humorous way. Are You Serious is one of Bird’s most honest, unique albums; the singer-songwriter has an incredible act for incorporating metaphors, euphemisms, and symbolism into his lyrics and melodies while simultaneously being incredibly honest with listeners about his fair share of struggles. Some sounds on the record, mainly including “Truth Lies Low,” are comparable to Beirut’s 2015 record No No No, while them Bird’s own unique flare that has captured the hearts of people internationally and have given him over 15 years of tremendous success. “Truth Lies Low” features mellow but moody guitar flares and keyboard rhythms, making it one of the most notable and impressionable songs on the record.
Despite the fact that Are You Serious is Bird’s 13th album, he still obtains the ability to make fresh, cohesive music. It’s rare than an artist who has so long been submerged in the grand world of music has the creative capacity to create such unique music, but Bird absolutely knocks it out of the ballpark with this record. While Bird’s traditional sound usually includes his famous string solos and flares (which are minimalistic ally featured on this record), Bird stepped out of his realm to try something completely different—and it worked exceptionally well for him; seriously.
Songs to listen to: Truth Lies low, Capsized, Pulaski