Album Notes: Andrew Bird - My Finest Work Yet

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The latest from Andrew Bird swiftly calls to mind Father John Misty, and that's without even looking at the title of the album. It's awfully audacious to name your twelfth solo effort My Finest Work Yet, but Bird deems it so with tongue more out of cheek than in. There are a number of easy comparisons to be made between this record and those from the man born Joshua Tillman. Vocally, both men inhabit a similar tenor range, doing so over clean, less-is-more production, and here Bird takes it a step further, essentially a "live in the studio" approach. But the line seems to be drawn at full-on irony. Bird and Tillman touch on similar themes, but the violinist's commentary on contemporary life takes a much more straightforward path: observing more than preaching; questioning rather than prescribing.

My Finest Work Yet comes out swinging, with arguably the three best tracks leading things off. The remaining songs may not be as catchy, but prove well worth hearing. While known for his masterly abilities on the violin dating back to childhood, Bird is equally if not more highly regarded for his whistling, and once again he brings his A game. Whether or not the listener agrees with the artist's assertion in the title is up to them. With or without the superlative, it certainly is a fine work.

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