Born Free Forever

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
On his second album, Born Free Forever, Bobby Birdman continues to mix searching, acoustic-based songs with experimental and electronic touches, resulting in a sound that owes as much to bands like Smog and the Radar Brothers as it does to Radiohead and the Flaming Lips. Actually, the closest comparison may be a more polished, technologically advanced Microphones, which makes sense since Birdman aka Rob Kieswetter has worked with Microphones contributor and Little Wings leader Kyle Field, and he also hails from the Pacific Northwest, which seems to have a prolific amount of these soul-searching artists. Born Free Forever's first five songs -- "Born Free," "So the Blood,"...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
On his second album, Born Free Forever, Bobby Birdman continues to mix searching, acoustic-based songs with experimental and electronic touches, resulting in a sound that owes as much to bands like Smog and the Radar Brothers as it does to Radiohead and the Flaming Lips. Actually, the closest comparison may be a more polished, technologically advanced Microphones, which makes sense since Birdman aka Rob Kieswetter has worked with Microphones contributor and Little Wings leader Kyle Field, and he also hails from the Pacific Northwest, which seems to have a prolific amount of these soul-searching artists. Born Free Forever's first five songs -- "Born Free," "So the Blood," "All Right," "The Fear," and "All Right Reprise" -- have a suite-like feel to them, akin to the Microphones' Mt. Eerie in its spooky, massed sounds and themes of vulnerability and mortality. Unlike most of his influences, however, Birdman favors a clean, almost poppy production that emphasizes his dulcet voice and the intricate sonics surrounding it. While this makes the album more immediately palatable, it tends to put a little distance between the listener and the feelings in the music; it takes a few listens to pick up on emotionally raw lyrics like "tonight I drew first blood/I couldn't stop the flow," from "I Said, 'OK,' The Wind Said 'No!'" There's no question that Birdman's music is genuinely moving, though, as the soaring, spine-tingling harmonies on "Fire"; the dreamy electro-hymn "Demon Heart"; and the lovely "I Have but to Know What I Want," where he exclaims, "I want to know, not just to have known/I want to peel away and show the sheen." Bobby Birdman's very name sounds like a child's idea of a superhero, and there's a similarly naïve yet deep yearning in the music that contrasts interestingly with some of Born Free Forever's more experimental moments. "The Flood/The Blood" mixes a loop of cut-up, doo wop-influenced backing vocals with a light, skittering beat and luminous synths; "Here I Am, All Brokenhearted" sends up the album's often self-deprecating tone with a grandiose, orchestral arrangement; "O Come On" mixes telegraph-like synths, banjos, acoustic guitars, and backward sounds into a strangely celebratory finish to the album. A huge leap forward from Let Me In, Born Free Forever is a delicate, challenging album, and all the more rewarding for those very reasons.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/6/2003
  • Label: Hush Records
  • UPC: 723724523524
  • Catalog Number: 38
  • Sales rank: 374,444

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bobby Birdman Primary Artist
Kyle Field Vocals
Zak Riles Banjo, Vocals
Jordan Hudson Cello
Technical Credits
Christopher Cross Composer
John Barry Composer
Dean Dinning Composer
Randy Guss Composer
Jimi Hendrix Composer
Todd Nichols Composer
Glen Phillips Composer
Rob Kieswetter Producer
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