Armchair Apocrypha Image
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Chicago-based singer-songwriter returns with his tenth album of literate and eclectic indie rock.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Bird has developed a finesse for off-kilter pop that takes mortality, confusion, and unexpected realizations as its subject, shaping them all into songs that are catchier, by their own terms, than most of Top 40 radio.
  2. This is a record that will so quickly get under your skin and fill your head with such a bounty of melodies that the only way to relieve the swelling is to joyously whistle them out.
  3. Armchair Apocrypha is a wonderful record.
  4. 80
    Apocrypha feels of a piece with Eggs, though without as many layers or as heightened a sense of playfulness. [#75, p.91]
  5. The opaqueness of Bird's lyrics doesn't exactly jibe with this more mainstream musical approach.
  6. Bird’s intelligence – and obvious delight in the associations that words seem to make on their own – often places his lyrics in the precocious high-school poet camp.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. LarsP.
    Sep 24, 2007
    10
    Just take 12 really catchy pop songs - ones that you can't but help but like, despite how cool you are - and then layer it a gazillion Just take 12 really catchy pop songs - ones that you can't but help but like, despite how cool you are - and then layer it a gazillion times with unheard of instrument combinations (love that whistle), poetry, and an extremely talented musician...voila: Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha. It gets better with every listen; the layers of complexity never stop unraveling. Bird manages to pull it off without coming off as an arrogant uptight indie snob. Expand
  2. sethw
    Mar 21, 2007
    10
    In a month of anticipated releases, some of them dissapointing (Bloc Party, RJD2), some of them meeting or exceeding expectations (Arcade In a month of anticipated releases, some of them dissapointing (Bloc Party, RJD2), some of them meeting or exceeding expectations (Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, El-P) I find myself putting all of these aside to listen to this album over and over, and it gets better each time. I've lived with his other albums for longer and this one for two days, so I'm not about to call it his best-yet. I do now that ever since Oh the Grandeur each album gets better (in my humble opinion) and Bird slowly becomes my favorite artist. Besides all that, this album (as much as one can tell after 36 hours) is brilliant Expand
  3. DMarsh
    Mar 29, 2007
    10
    Armchair Apocrypha, Neon Bible (The Arcade Fire), Everything All The Time (Band of Horses), and Howl (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) are my Armchair Apocrypha, Neon Bible (The Arcade Fire), Everything All The Time (Band of Horses), and Howl (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) are my favorite four albums of the past two years. Expand
  4. ryanB.
    Mar 19, 2007
    9
    I've always adored Andrew Bird in a live setting, but found his albums lacking the passion that he brings to the stage (Weather Systems I've always adored Andrew Bird in a live setting, but found his albums lacking the passion that he brings to the stage (Weather Systems has come the closest). After hearing the first two tracks of this album, I was terrified that Bird had sunken completely into adult-contemporary territory. Then, the most remarkable thing happened. "Heretics" escaped from the speakers, and the album churned out five awe-inspiring tracks full of the emotion and grace that I always knew Bird was capable of, with all of the inventiveness and intelligence that he displayed on his last two records. Seriously, the stretch from "Heretics" to "Simple X" is so far above and beyond anything Bird has recorded that I was completely flabbergasted and ecstatic - rejoicing at every sound that came from my speakers. "Armchairs" is Bird's own "Lover, You Should've Come Over," a masterpiece of a ballad that begins small and builds to a completely heartbroken climax that will serve as the rubric against which all future Bird songs will be judged (his voice even sounds a little like Jeff Buckley on the song). The album eventually settles into some gorgeous folk that, if it isn't as perfect as the stretch of songs that came before it, still ends the album on beautiful note. "Yawny at the Apocalypse" is probably the best ambient closer to a non-ambient album ever recorded. And you know what? The first track grew on me. "Imitosis" still nauseates me a little compared to "I" (the original working of the song found on Weather Systems), but 11 out of 12 sure ain't bad. Expand
  5. ScottW
    Apr 3, 2007
    9
    2007 is the year for many of my favorite bands' new releases. After being painfully disappointed by the Arcade Fire, I picked up Andrew 2007 is the year for many of my favorite bands' new releases. After being painfully disappointed by the Arcade Fire, I picked up Andrew Bird's "Amrchair Apocrypha" to revive my faith in music. If you're an Andrew Bird fan, you'll love this album; it is just as good as the last one. Expand
  6. martinc
    Mar 23, 2007
    9
    Not as great to me as the Mysterious Production of Eggs album, as it seems Bird is trying to follow mainstream and progress towards that then Not as great to me as the Mysterious Production of Eggs album, as it seems Bird is trying to follow mainstream and progress towards that then what he masterfully accomplished in the previous album, but still great with amazing wordplay as is his style. Expand
  7. romanm.
    May 1, 2007
    6
    Truly unique sound. Works well in a live setting (even the god-awful Riviera). The fuller band sound improves upon Eggs, which had great Truly unique sound. Works well in a live setting (even the god-awful Riviera). The fuller band sound improves upon Eggs, which had great original music in its own right. But I can't give this dude a pass on his faux Buckley singing and ridiculous lyrics. Check the lyric sheet. He drops $10 words to pander to all the too-cool-to-rule-the-school-self-important hipsters out there. Oh and none if it makes any sense. Look! He said something about Haliburton attache cases! Machinations and palindromes! Give me a break. Pulling out pages of the Radiohead playbook and pawning it off to all the other people who take themselves too seriously. Thanks, but I'll wait for something more real. Expand

See all 39 User Reviews