ayholev1tmbBirdy – Beautiful Lies

Loose rhymes about longing, basic back beat with overbearing floor tom, super short verse fragments lasting half a breath, late 2000’s shoegaze ripoff delayed reverb, and Florence and the Machine ripoff singing. Putting all of these together seems like a bad idea, but it works out great for Birdy on a no-surprise, highly anticipated, among the hip community, third studio album, Beautiful Lies, by the girl with the long name. Bongaerde is associated with huge success and it’s no secret why: she knows what the people want. But she also wants to write good music.

One might not personally be into this kind of music, which is a combination of Mumford and Sons and Adele, and one might also say this sounds like the garbage that’s all over the radio, and one would be right by me on both accounts. However, this album is actually good because it is listenable and still meets the qualifications for radio airplay, most of it anyway. It’s unpacking time.

The album starts out in a positive direction with a very eastern sounding intro, but then contrived back beats take over but not in a way that would make one want to shut it off. One will also take note that the lyrical content is strong and positive in a millennial fashion. One might wonder if Birdy would support Bernie for president?

After the intro, the songwriter comes out in full force and writes some good ol’ fashioned, uh, songs. You know, the kind people write, not machines. “Lost it all” is arpeggiated soft piano with some cool not too forced singing on top and the lyrics pick up the pace on “Silhouette,” a piece about some deep symbolic relationship between her darkest and unknown dreams and the hard plastic shell surrounding all of us that hides our secret life inside it, inside the shell called skin.

There are blips of rave and electronic atmosphere, but the majority of the album sounds like real instruments, which one might listen to and say, “What are these unfiltered and unadulterated sounds? They sound real.” One can hope her voice is real as well.

Given the majority of the lyrical content is about striving and pushing through heartbreak and typical things that radio listeners let others think about for them, “Unbroken” has some great insight about time being an unavoidable obstacle but also a guide in life.

The title track is the shortest track, but has some of the best melodies and songwriting. Probably the best track and the last track.

Deluxe tracks are a snore worth avoiding.

Did I mention Birdy is freakin 19? No. Because it’s downright unbelievable. If I was back in high school, I would gladly rip down my Brittany Spears poster and replace it with a Birdy. If you can stomach music that doesn’t feature blistering guitar riffs, thumping double bass, and screaming heroin-inspired old man vocals, this Beautiful Lies is well worth a listen.