The Swimming Hour

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Fiery fiddler and occasional Squirrel Nut Zipper Andrew Bird dives into a rockin' new sound on The Swimming Hour, his third outing with his group Bowl of Fire, but it's a direction that will still hold considerable charm for fans of the hot-jazz, old-timey, 1930s exotica that marked Thrills and Oh! The Grandeur. Where those albums actually sound more like 78s possibly those being pumped through a Victrola in the Addams Family parlor, The Swimming Hour is alive and crackling with a violin-led rock attack that recalls Camper Van Beethoven at their creepiest. Yet Bird and longtime Fire drummer Kevin O'Donnell still incorporate swinging time signatures, fluid rhythmic ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Fiery fiddler and occasional Squirrel Nut Zipper Andrew Bird dives into a rockin' new sound on The Swimming Hour, his third outing with his group Bowl of Fire, but it's a direction that will still hold considerable charm for fans of the hot-jazz, old-timey, 1930s exotica that marked Thrills and Oh! The Grandeur. Where those albums actually sound more like 78s possibly those being pumped through a Victrola in the Addams Family parlor, The Swimming Hour is alive and crackling with a violin-led rock attack that recalls Camper Van Beethoven at their creepiest. Yet Bird and longtime Fire drummer Kevin O'Donnell still incorporate swinging time signatures, fluid rhythmic derring-do, and astoundingly advanced arrangements -- this time topping them off with humid Memphis funk and cranky garage-rock guitar and organ for a swampy, twisted southern ambience. Likewise intact are Bird's literary couplets e.g., "A state of peristalsis or a pair of static stases/ And we're off to the races" and encyclopedic grasp of early-music, classical, and folk themes. If Flannery O'Connor, Noël Coward, and Tim Burton formed a band, they might come up with something as darkly, drolly sublime as The Swimming Hour.
All Music Guide - Jon Azpiri
Listening to Swimming Hour is like taking a walking tour through 20th century musical history. Andrew Bird, a major contributor to nouveau-swing band the Squirrel Nut Zippers, mixes numerous styles and genres such as classical, Latin, and gypsy music, among others. The song "Why" feels like a jazz song from a 1950s film noir soundtrack, and "Satisfied" blends gospel with straight-ahead rock & roll. Also impressive is Bird's cover versions of the Mississippi Sheiks' "Too Long" and Nelstone's Hawaiians' "Fatal Flower Garden," a reworked rendition of an old Irish ballad. The vast array of musical styles are united by Bird's haunting vocals as well as lyrics that are both thoughtful and whimsical. While Swimming Hour is clearly an album obsessed with musical history, Bird manages to mix in enough of his own unique style to prevent the album from feeling like a musty old museum piece.
Entertainment Weekly - Laura Morgan
"B+"...It's only April, but the giddy "Two Way Action" and the lilting "11:11" are penciled in on my "best songs of the year" list.

"B+"...It's only April, but the giddy "Two Way Action" and the lilting "11:11" are penciled in on my "best songs of the year" list.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/2009
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • UPC: 014431060618
  • Catalog Number: 10606

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Two Way Action (4:43)
  2. 2 Core and Rind (3:02)
  3. 3 Why? (3:31)
  4. 4 11:11 (3:34)
  5. 5 Case in Point (4:49)
  6. 6 Too Long (2:33)
  7. 7 Way Out West (4:06)
  8. 8 Waiting to Talk (4:13)
  9. 9 Fatal Flower Garden (4:43)
  10. 10 Satisfied (3:17)
  11. 11 Headsoak (3:53)
  12. 12 How Indiscreet (4:34)
  13. 13 Dear Old Greenland (3:30)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire Primary Artist
Andrew Bird Indexed Contributor, Violin, Vocals, Mando, Mando-Guitar
Mike Napolitano Recorder
Josh Hirsch Bass
Colin Bunn Guitar
Pat Sansone Keyboards, Marimbas, Vocals, Vibes
Nora O'Connor Vocals, Group Member
Gary Shepers Truba
Technical Credits
Brent Lambert Mastering
Naomi Yang Cover Photo
Mike Napolitano Producer, Engineer
Greg Norman Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buy This Album

    The best album of 2001. If you doubt it, buy it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews