Bomb in a Birdcage

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
What a difference two years can make. Alison Sudol introduced herself as a piano-playing pixie on 2007's One Cell in the Sea, stuffing her debut album with lilting vocals and fairy tale lyrics. Although that combination spawned several upbeat songs, ballads proved to be Sudol's bread and butter, and she soon found herself saddled with the unfortunate task of re-creating the album's intimacy in a live concert setting. Two years after Sea's release, Sudol returns with a second record, having taken a lesson from the road and fine-tuned her music accordingly. There are still several ballads here, particularly during the album's latter half, but Sudol knows that faster tunes ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
What a difference two years can make. Alison Sudol introduced herself as a piano-playing pixie on 2007's One Cell in the Sea, stuffing her debut album with lilting vocals and fairy tale lyrics. Although that combination spawned several upbeat songs, ballads proved to be Sudol's bread and butter, and she soon found herself saddled with the unfortunate task of re-creating the album's intimacy in a live concert setting. Two years after Sea's release, Sudol returns with a second record, having taken a lesson from the road and fine-tuned her music accordingly. There are still several ballads here, particularly during the album's latter half, but Sudol knows that faster tunes work better in concert, where both the band and the audience can share in the same catharsis. Accordingly, Bomb in the Birdcage is a lively piece of work, with songs that take flight and arrangements that couch her vocals in tasteful heaps of strings, harmonies, and piano. A Fine Frenzy truly sounds like a band here, with guitarist David Levita leading the group on several numbers and drummer Jesse Siebenberg adding percussive nuances to one of the album's best tunes, "New Heights." Elsewhere, "What I Wouldn't Do" blends acoustic guitar and handclaps into a summery folk song, the sort of sprightly thing that's appropriate for coffeehouses and campfires alike, while "Electric Twist" flirts with the Bird and the Bee's cool, nuanced electro-pop. Sudol sounds ecstatic throughout the album, her cooing voice often giving way to delighted yelps, and Bomb in the Birdcage is a fitting display of the explosives this songbird now has in her arsenal.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/8/2009
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • EAN: 5099921572128
  • Catalog Number: 15721

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 What I Wouldn't Do (2:57)
  2. 2 New Heights (4:12)
  3. 3 Electric Twist (4:31)
  4. 4 Blow Away (4:09)
  5. 5 Happier (3:30)
  6. 6 Swan Song (3:43)
  7. 7 Elements (3:24)
  8. 8 The World Without (4:15)
  9. 9 Bird of the Summer (3:18)
  10. 10 Stood Up (4:47)
  11. 11 The Beacon (3:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
A Fine Frenzy Primary Artist
Richard Dodd Cello
Victor Indrizzo Drums
Joel Shearer Bass, Guitar
Jesse Siebenberg Bass, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Lap Steel Guitar, Hammond B3
Daphne Chen Violin
Stephen LeBlanc Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Lukas Burton Synthesizer, Bass, Keyboards, Human Whistle, Hand Clapping
David Levita Bass, Guitar
Sarah Wass Flute
Alison Sudol Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Technical Credits
Ted Jensen Mastering
Daphne Chen String Arrangements
John Hanes Engineer
Lukas Burton Producer, String Arrangements, Whistle
Chris Steffen Engineer
L. Burton Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 28, 2012

    "Bomb in a Birdcage" is very different from "One

    "Bomb in a Birdcage" is very different from "One Cell in
    the Sea". At first I was torn between the two albums. They feature
    very different sounds and very different lyrical adventures. Eventually,
    I decided that if I had to decide on my favorite Frenzy album (live EPs
    and the House of Blues release included), I would choose "Bomb in a
    Birdcage". This album is what A Fine Frenzy is meant to be:
    ethereal, bouncy, clever, introspective, fun and smart. All of the
    songs have merit, but there are a few that really stand out. First off,
    "What I Wouldn't Do" is the perfect opening. The hand claps
    and whistling provide a nice backbone to a tune so catchy you almost
    miss the sweet melancholy of the words. "Electric Twist" is
    good for original Frenzy fans who loved "One Cell in the Sea"
    and its softness, with its neat little opening line: "You should be
    wilder / You're no fun at all. / Yeah, thanks for the input / Thanks for
    the call." "Swan Song" takes a few listens to fully
    understand, but aside from "Elements" it is probably the most
    complex song lyrics-wise. "Elements", however, steals the
    show. Never has there been such a true, heart scraping song. On their
    own, the lyrics are poetry, and the music sounds like waves, wind, and
    disaster. And, of course, "Stood Up" is an anthem for our
    time. Now, if only AFF would release "Ride-Goldrush"!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Lovely

    a delight to listen to

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the year's best!

    One word review? Unique.

    The thin cardboard packaging and simple black and white photo on the front contains one of this year's best CDs.

    After Alison Sudol's fantastic voice, the first thing you'll notice is the writing is fantastic. The lyrics are refined and creative. Songs range from folk, to pop, to ballads, to alternative sounding tracks.

    Songs like "What I Wouldn't Do" and "New Heights" start things off quickly and lively and feature clapping and piano.

    "Electric Twist" is a snappy, clapping, pop/dance track -- one of the album's best. "Stood Up" sounds shockingly different from the other ten songs here, but is a great alternative sounding song featuring big drums and a fantastic sound.

    "Blow Away" is the catchy first single (good choice) that has a great video you should definitely seek out and watch.

    Ballads like "Happier", "Swan Song", and "Bird of the Summer" start quiet with a guitar and add drums/piano/etc. to build-up songs about break-up, regret, and relationships (respectively). These sound like songs that might've been on their debut CD "One Cell in the Sea", but there is a creative layer of complexity added to these that makes them fit nicely on this CD.

    "Elements" is a haunting track that features great writing. "The World Without" is an up-tempo track about a relationship ('We can work this out...').

    "The Beacon" is a nice final track that makes you want to hit repeat and start over again at the first song.

    Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A nice second album, but doesn't quite stand up to One Cell in the Sea

    I stumbled on A Fine Frenzy sort of by accident 2 years ago when One Cell in the Sea was released, didn't listen to the CD for almost six months, and then fell in love. I was very excited to find out that a second album had come out. As much as I love Alison Sudol's voice, I'm not quite as enamored with Bomb in a Birdcage as I thought I'd be. The tracks present a very different side of her musicality, and definitely vary between soft, whimsical, and what I can't term as anything other than "pop music". I expected another soft, lyrical album, but Bomb in a Birdcage doesn't quite hit the mark. There are several tracks that do hit on the magic Sudol found in One Cell (namely Bird of the Summer, The Beacon and The Swan Song). There are several very whimsical tracks that have grown on me, especially What I Wouldn't Do and Blow Away. The others are somewhere in the middle. I usually skip Electric Twist (it's a throwback to the 1980s to my ear, and it goes on about a minute longer than it needed to), and while I like the lyrics and feel of Stood Up, it doesn't seem to fit in this album. Another thing I liked about One Cell is that the tracks, in their given order, almost seem to tell a story, something I found intriguing. That's lacking with Bomb in a Birdcage. My other big hangup is that there are several tracks where it's very difficult to understand the lyrics. I had to look them up, whereas One Cell's lyrics were much clearer to understand.

    So all in all, a nice album, but I wish she'd stayed truer to the sound presented in One Cell.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    From strength to strength

    A Fine Frenzy, the musical project of Alison Sudol, has been en extraordinary phenomenon, quietly entering the scene with the album 'One Cell in the Sea' and gradually winning an army of fans and supporters. Sudol has become legendary not least because of her huge following on Twitter. The first album was full of haunting melodies and poetic imagery, a journey through the ups and downs of romance and despair.

    Her new album, 'Bomb in a Birdcage', picks up some of those themes but is also very different. Alongside the lyrical beauty of songs like 'Bird of the Summer', 'Swan Song' and 'The Beacon', there is the punchy up-tempo fun of 'Blow Away', the quirky rock-inspired teasing of 'Electric Twist' and the rock anthem 'Stood Up'. Other songs show inspiration from various influences, including folk, jazz and country. And yet, despite the variety, the whole album hangs together remarkably well as an overall project.

    There is much here to hold the affection of the old Frenzy fans, and to gather new followers. It is no surprise to me that the album is taking the music world by storm.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted September 11, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

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