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by BirdyBirdy


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On the face of it, the self-titled debut from 15-year-old Birdy, aka Jasmine van den Bogaerde, doesn't seem any different from the hastily assembled cash-in covers albums released every year by the various X Factor alumni. But although its 11 renditions of mostly contemporary songs, many of which could be passed off as originals due to their previous lack of exposure, stick to the tried-and-tested talent show formula, that's where the comparisons end. Indeed, you won't find any karaoke standards or renditions of Miley Cyrus songs here, as this stripped-back collection of lesser-known hits and album tracks reads like a who's who of lo-fi hipster indie rock. The likes of the National's "Terrible Love" and Francis & the Lights' "I'll Never Forget You" offer little deviation from the source material, but for the most part, producers Rich Costey (Muse), James Ford (Arctic Monkeys), and Jim Abiss (Adele) strip the songs down to their bare bones, turning Cherry Ghost's everyman anthem "People Hold the People" into a tender torch song with its stately piano chords and mournful cello, toning down the aggression of the Naked & Famous' synth pop hit "Young Blood" with some muted beats and ethereal twinkling electronica, while somehow turning the already sparse "Shelter" from the xx's Mercury Music Prize winner into an even more skeletal and ghostly affair. As clever and subtle as these reworkings are, it's Birdy's youthful and fragile voice that steals the show, whether it's replicating the multi-layered harmonies of Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal," providing a poignancy to Bon Iver's "Skinny Love," or showcasing her scale-gliding abilities on the Postal Service's "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight." The gospel-tinged cover of James Taylor's "Fire and Rain," the only track to sound more expansive than the original, feels slightly out of place, while the unremarkable balladry of the only original composition, "Without a Word," suggests she might have to work a little harder on her songwriting skills if she's to avoid becoming a one-trick pony. The whole idea of Birdy sounds like a transparent attempt to court a more credible audience, but thanks to her haunting tones and a tasteful yet compelling production, it impressively avoids being the try-hard affair you'd expect.

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Product Details

Release Date: 03/20/2012
Label: Warner Records
UPC: 0825646611355
catalogNumber: 530425
Rank: 57401


  1. 1901
  2. Skinny Love
  3. People Help the People
  4. White Winter Hymnal
  5. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
  6. I'll Never Forget You
  7. Young Blood
  8. Shelter
  9. Fire and Rain
  10. Without a Word
  11. Terrible Love

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Birdy   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,Voices
Matt Chamberlain   Percussion,Drums
Jamie Muhoberac   Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Audrey Riley   Conductor
Wally Gagel   Bass
Rich Costey   Synthesizer,Noise
Neil Cowley   Organ,Piano
Kirk Hellie   Guitar
Lucy Shaw   Cello
Ian Burdge   Cello
Leo Abrahams   Guitar
Alessandro Cortini   Synthesizer
Stephen Mair   Double Bass
Christopher Tombling   Performing Ensemble
Alex Macnaghten   Bass
James Ellis Ford   Guitar,Percussion,Drums
Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde   Group Member

Technical Credits

Audrey Riley   String Arrangements
Jim Abbiss   Producer,drum machine
Rich Costey   Producer,Engineer
Christian Mazzalai   Composer
Ben Gibbard   Composer
Richard Woodcraft   Engineer
Jimmy Tamborello   Composer
Matt Berninger   Composer
Aaron Dessner   Composer
Ian Dowling   Engineer
James Ford   Producer
Robin Pecknold   Composer
Justin Vernon   Composer
Simon Aldred   Composer
Romy Madley Croft   Composer
James Brown   Engineer
James V. Taylor   Composer
Paul "P-Dub" Walton   Engineer,Additional Production
Alex H.N. Gilbert   Producer,Executive Producer,Artwork,Additional Production
Laurent Mazzalai   Composer
Thomas Croquet   Composer
Baria Quershi   Composer
Alisa Xayalith   Composer
Birdy   Composer
Christian Tattersfield   Executive Producer
Rupert Bogarde   Engineer
James Thomas Smith   Composer
Gareth Henderson   Engineer
Thomas Brading Powers   Composer
Oliver David Sim   Composer
Frederic Jean Joseph Moulin   Composer
Aaron Phillip Short   Composer
Francis Farewell Starlite   Composer

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