Are You Serious (Andrew Bird album)

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Are You Serious
Are You Serious (Front Cover).png
Studio album by Andrew Bird
Released April 1, 2016
Genre Indie folk
Length 42:31
Label Loma Vista
Andrew Bird chronology
Echolocations: Canyon
(2015)
Are You Serious
(2016)
Echolocations: River
(2017)
Singles from Are You Serious
  1. "Capsized"
    Released: February 5, 2016
  2. "Left Handed Kisses"
    Released: February 25, 2016
  3. "Roma Fade"
    Released: March 11, 2016
  4. "Valleys of the Young"
    Released: March 25, 2016
  5. "Pulaski"
    Released: September 8, 2016
  6. "Are You Serious"
    Released: August 4, 2017

Are You Serious is the tenth solo studio album by Andrew Bird, released on April 1, 2016.[1] The album features collaborations with Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.[1]

Production[edit]

In an interview with Bob Boilen on All Songs Considered, Bird described how getting married had changed his writing style on this album:

"Knowing that you're going to be with someone for a long time definitely changes [the way you write], often because you're sitting in the same room with them as you're writing, and when you're sitting on the couch and you know it's not going to last, you might ... have to ... encrypt ... things. And when you don't have to do that anymore it might change your writing in that sense."[2]

Fiona Apple was his first choice to appear on the single "Left Handed Kisses", and he contacted her through mutual friends.[3][4] The track's recording session was, according to Bird, "a long whiskey-fueled night."[5]

Release[edit]

Are You Serious was announced on February 5, 2016, following an appearance on Conan in which Bird performed the single "Capsized."[1] A deluxe box set of the album will also include a 10" record called Are We Not Burning? The Devolution of Capsized 10", which features five additional tracks.[1] The music video for single "Left Handed Kisses", directed by Phil Andelman, was released on March 14, 2016, and features Bird and Apple sitting by a window and singing to each other.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic78/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club(C+)[8]
The Guardian4/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork(7.2/10)[10]
PopMatters(8/10)[11]

Are You Serious received generally favourable reviews from music critics, with a score of 78 out of 100 on the review aggregator website Metacritic.[6] NPR's Bob Boilen described Are You Serious as Bird's most personal album to date, writing that "Andrew Bird's lyrics are often a kind of cryptic code, wordplay about the human condition, but on Are You Serious he reveals more about his own life including a blossoming relationship between two relative introverts and the birth of their son."[2] NPR's Stephen Thompson wrote that, with this album, Bird's songwriting "keeps sounding warmer, sweeter, more thoughtful and approachable, while continuing to land lines that stick with you for days."[12] Philip Cosores, writing for The A.V. Club, gave the album a lukewarm review, describing it as a slight effort on which Bird "takes no musical risks."[8]

Are You Serious was nominated for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, for engineers Tchad Blake and David Boucher, and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig.[13]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016

Track listing[edit]

Are You Serious[edit]

All songs written by Andrew Bird except "Are You Serious," written by Andrew Bird and Dan Wilson[15]

No.TitleLength
1."Capsized"3:40
2."Roma Fade"4:03
3."Truth Lies Low"5:28
4."Puma"3:31
5."Chemical Switches"3:23
6."Left Handed Kisses" (featuring Fiona Apple)3:14
7."Are You Serious"3:39
8."Saints Preservus"3:48
9."The New Saint Jude"4:10
10."Valleys of the Young"5:33
11."Bellevue"2:02
Total length:42:31

Are We Not Burning? The Devolution of Capsized[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Trimmed and Burning"1:26
2."Venetian Bedmaker"1:08
3."Dying Beds"1:07
4."Jackson Bedmaker"1:20
5."Capsized – Sound City Version"2:22

Personnel[edit]

  • Andrew Bird - vocals (1-11), violins (1-4, 6-11), whistling (2, 5, 8), guitar (3, 4, 6, 8, 10), omnichord (9)
  • Blake Mills - guitar (1-11), pedal steel guitar (1), drums (2), mandolin (4), tiple (9), electric banjo (10)
  • Ted Poor - drums (1-4, 6-11), percussion (1, 2, 4, 8), vibes (6), tubular bells (6)
  • Alan Hampton - bass (1-4, 6-11), guitar (2, 4)
  • Patrick Warren - keyboards (1, 2, 4, 7)
  • Moses Sumney - vocals (1, 3)
  • Bram Inscore - keyboards (2, 4, 9, 10)
  • Fiona Apple - vocals (6)
  • Tony Berg - guitar (8), keyboards (9)

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[16] 175
French Albums (SNEP)[17] 134
US Billboard 200[18] 50
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[19] 5
US Digital Albums (Billboard)[20] 13
US Folk Albums (Billboard)[21] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[22] 8
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[23] 4
US Vinyl Albums (Billboard)[24] 4

Singles[edit]

Song Adult Alternative
"Capsized" 6[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Zoe Camp, Andrew Bird Announces New Album Are You Serious Featuring Fiona Apple, Shares "Capsized" Pitchfork, 5 February 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bob Boilen (2016) "All Songs +1: Andrew Bird Gets Personal" All Songs Considered. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016
  3. ^ Erin Lyndal Martin (2016) "Andrew Bird gets confessional, at last: 'I really wanted to make a less whimsical, more visceral, grab-you-in-the-gut kind of record'" Salon, 2 April 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Andrew Bird Talks Collaborating With Fiona Apple And New Album ‘Are You Serious’" Music Feeds, 31 March 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b Matthew Strauss (2016) "Andrew Bird and Fiona Apple Join for "Left Handed Kisses"" Pitchfork, 26 February 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Are You Serious - Andrew Bird". metacritic.com. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Monger, Timothy. "Andrew Bird: Are You Serious Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Philip Cosores (2016) "Andrew Bird takes no musical risks on Are You Serious" The A.V. Club, 1 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  9. ^ Ally Carnwath (3 April 2016). "Andrew Bird: Are You Serious review – twinkle-toed and introspective". The Guardian. London. 
  10. ^ Stacey Anderson. "Andrew Bird: Are You Serious". 
  11. ^ Pryor Stroud. "Andrew Bird: Are You Serious". 
  12. ^ Stephen Thompson "First Listen: Andrew Bird, 'Are You Serious'" NPR Music, 24 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  13. ^ 59th Annual Grammy Awards: Nominees Official website. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  14. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Paste. November 30, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  15. ^ Album liner notes
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Andrew Bird – Are You Serious" (in French). Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Lescharts.com – Andrew Bird – Are You Serious". Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Digital Albums)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Top Americana/Folk Albums)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  23. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.
  24. ^ "Andrew Bird Chart History (Vinyl Albums)". Billboard.
  25. ^ "Andrew Bird | Billboard". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-08-02.