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Andrew Bird
Useless Creatures - Fat Possum
FILTER Grade: 84%

By Adam Pollock on December 17, 2010

 

Andrew Bird

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird has carved out such a specific niche in the world of pop music that he’s characterized by a certain un-characterization. He’s proven he can play equally in intimate stripped-down settings that wouldn’t be out of place in fin de siècle salons or share stages at major festivals alongside Radiohead. Not to mention his signature whistling makes a theremin work harder.


While his albums have all varied stylistically, Useless Creatures was recorded specifically as an instrumental companion piece to 2009’s Noble Beast, available only on that album’s deluxe edition until now. As a stand-alone, it is about as eclectic as they come, and mostly gloriously so. All plucked strings, jumbled acoustics and (of course) whistling, the songs skip along like the soundtrack to a glorious day in the sun, a black-and-white movie or a dream. Self-described as an ambient experimental record—and that pretty much sums it up—Eno and Sakamoto would be proud.

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