Noble Beast

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42

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  1. jeffersont
    Jan 20, 2009
    10
    Incredible album. Stupid reviewers.
  2. LW.
    Mar 13, 2009
    10
    Deaf reviewers. This is tear-inducingly good in the right mood, and simply great in any mood.
  3. Christopher
    Jan 21, 2009
    9
    Andrew Bird continues to impress me. His production is beautiful and lyricism is highly creative. With this album, he was able to take many of the great moments from both Mysterious Production of Eggs and Armchair Apocrypha and combine them into something really special. Best album of the year so far (yes, even better than Merriweather Post Pavilion).
  4. MarkS
    Feb 18, 2009
    9
    Think of this listening experience sort of like picking up a National Geographic and looking at the photographs of strange life forms and unique looking individuals, and then realizing that if you read the articles deep thoughts become much clearer.
  5. re
    Feb 8, 2009
    10
    A great record. I'm confused by how mixed the reviews seem to be. Rock journalists have failed us again.
  6. KevinZ.
    Jan 20, 2009
    10
    Some of the people who reviewed this must be deaf or just incredibly pretentious. whether or not this album is well suited to them or not i think it can, Andrew Bird in general for that matter, can be quite easily defined as one of the most explicit examples of raw talent out there. "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" is an incredable song. Andrew Bird always manages to put out something diffrent Some of the people who reviewed this must be deaf or just incredibly pretentious. whether or not this album is well suited to them or not i think it can, Andrew Bird in general for that matter, can be quite easily defined as one of the most explicit examples of raw talent out there. "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" is an incredable song. Andrew Bird always manages to put out something diffrent than he did before, that kind of originality should be celebrated. Expand
  7. RoryS
    Jan 20, 2009
    7
    I pretty much agree with the critics here. Nothing too special but there are a few really good songs on here. Definitely not his best, though.
  8. alexc.
    Jan 29, 2009
    10
    Sounds right, Feels right. Bird's latest is his greatest. I am not a musician, but in this layman's opinion, Beast's music is appetizingly complex.
  9. JeremyF
    Feb 12, 2009
    9
    As good as a the previous album although some songs should have been left out... Outstanding album!
  10. AlanO
    Mar 15, 2009
    10
    An absolutely brilliant album. It is lush, intricate, and detailed to the extreme. However, it presents itself as a laid back Bon Ivor/Iron and Wine/Decemberists record...but, it is much more. musically, I would say that this album would more likelt appeal to David Sylvian fans, late-era Talk Talk, or even prefab Sprout fans simply due to it's attention to detail. I love this record An absolutely brilliant album. It is lush, intricate, and detailed to the extreme. However, it presents itself as a laid back Bon Ivor/Iron and Wine/Decemberists record...but, it is much more. musically, I would say that this album would more likelt appeal to David Sylvian fans, late-era Talk Talk, or even prefab Sprout fans simply due to it's attention to detail. I love this record and think it's by far Bird's best. I've seen a few "it didn't hit me immediatly" or "it's boring" comments...noting that I'm a long time Sylvian fan...you must have patience and give this a few listens before it becomes part of your life. Expand
  11. MattK
    Sep 27, 2009
    8
    Starts and ends extremely strongly -the first 6 tracks are excellent and then it starts to tail off until track 11 where everything starts to come back and finishes very well with track 13 and into 14. If it wasn't for the 4 or so tracks in the middle, I'd be giving this album a 10 easily.
  12. JosephT.
    Feb 17, 2009
    8
    Excellent way to spend a solitary winter's day. Bird really takes you on a journey. He uses "words" that aren't even words and, oh boy, is that fun to listen to him do. If you liked Joanna Newsom's album YS (2006) you will enjoy this folk-rock menagerie.
  13. Nov 28, 2013
    10
    This album, "Noble Beat" is Andrew Bird's gem. His voice is in such fine form, and I love his whistilng which is flawless, the lyrics, and melodies. This album is definitely one of his biggest classics. Trust me, this album will move you in a good way. Don't bother listening to it first on iTunes just go to your nearest record store (or a Best Buy or Target if you don't have a recordThis album, "Noble Beat" is Andrew Bird's gem. His voice is in such fine form, and I love his whistilng which is flawless, the lyrics, and melodies. This album is definitely one of his biggest classics. Trust me, this album will move you in a good way. Don't bother listening to it first on iTunes just go to your nearest record store (or a Best Buy or Target if you don't have a record store) and order it now!!!! Expand
  14. Nov 3, 2010
    8
    Such a beautiful album. Every song simply oozes beauty and charm. I love just playing this album from start to finish, it's one of those that you can just leave on and none of the songs are worthy of skipping.
  15. Feb 17, 2012
    9
    If there's one word to describe Andrew Bird's Noble Beast, it's "unmistakable." Out of the smoldering flame of excitement generated by Armchair Apocrypha, Andrew Bird returns here in full force, often even more thoughtful musically that his previous masterful effort. What's most fascinating about this album is observing exactly where Bird's sensibility has shifted. From MysteriousIf there's one word to describe Andrew Bird's Noble Beast, it's "unmistakable." Out of the smoldering flame of excitement generated by Armchair Apocrypha, Andrew Bird returns here in full force, often even more thoughtful musically that his previous masterful effort. What's most fascinating about this album is observing exactly where Bird's sensibility has shifted. From Mysterious Production's guitar heavy indie anthems to Armchair's beautifully varied textures, Andrew Bird goes a step further in Noble Beast, taking the best of Armchair while continuing to develop a distinctive sound. The heavy guitar riffs are almost all gone; instead we have a vast array of polyphony, with multiple violins played in many ways and extremely melodic guitar lines. All the while the entire album is unmistakable. This album features a number of his best songs to date. "Anonanimal" is quite possibly his most sophisticated song to date, flowing and morphing all too appropriately with more textures than we may have even thought Bird could effectively employ. Songs like "Effigy" still pull us back in the best way to Bird's songwriter, folk, sentimentality. "Not a Robot, But a Ghost" too introduces a variety of textures, vast percussion the likes of which he's rarely displayed, and overall a refreshing momentary departure from his predominantly organic sound. All the while, the versatility and ingenuity of Bird shines brilliantly forth through Noble Beast.

    That's not to say the album doesn't have its weak points. Songs like "Nomenclature" and "Natural Disaster" feel slightly lackluster, or rather perhaps simply stale given the ambition of the rest of the album. But moments of weakness are only brief and intermittent, always flowing gorgeously into some marvelous. And where Armchair runs out of steam over its last half, Noble Beast stays totally fresh over the whole album.

    What's struck me about criticism of this album is how misplaced they seem to be. I've read things like "the pizzicato violin is missing," which first of all is false, and second completely refuses to acknowledge the breadth of phenomenal texture and polyrhythm Bird explores here. On the whole, all this album has to offer is a wondrous experience in the present and a faith that no matter what, Andrew Bird will always have something new to offer us, and it will always sound good.
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  16. Jun 10, 2012
    10
    This is undoubtedly one of the most crisp and original albums I've ever heard. He sings with volition and plays so sweetly. The lyrics are masterful and fun, with a lot to sink your teeth into. This album definitely takes you places.
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 70
    Some songs are all middle, stuck on what might be mere bridges by, say, Rufus Wainwright or Paul Simon. Yet Bird’s open-field poetics do let a wider world creep in, from the corruption of ecosystems to the isolation that can afflict a touring musician or a declining leader alike.
  2. Noble Beast veers off into a cheerily nonspecific world of jangly guitars and meandering melodies that evoke everyone from Okkervil River to Radiohead without ever making an impact of their own.
  3. 70
    With his SAT-acing vocabulary, Bird still rocks some of the best rhymes in the game, cobbling together his own foreign language from arcane terms.