Personality – One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird

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Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird
TheSleepyJackson Personality.jpg
Studio album by The Sleepy Jackson
Released 1 July 2006 (Australia)
24 July 2006 (UK)
25 July 2006 (US)
Recorded 2006
Genre Indie rock
Length 42:53
Label EMI
Virgin Records
Astralwerks Records
Producer Scott Horscroft, Luke Steele
The Sleepy Jackson chronology
Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird
Singles from Personality - One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird
  1. "God Lead Your Soul"
    Released: 25 May 2006 (Australia); 17 July 2006 (UK)
  2. "Devil Was in My Yard"
    Released: 25 September 2006 (Australia)
  3. "I Understand What You Want but I Just Don't Agree"
    Released: 16 October 2006 (UK)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars link
The Independent 2/5 starslink
Pitchfork Media 7.8/10 link
PopMatters 8/10 link
Q 4/5 stars August 2006 issue, p.112
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars link
Stylus Magazine B link

Personality – One Was a Spider, One Was a Bird is the second album by Australian band The Sleepy Jackson, released in July 2006. The album was recorded at Big Jesus Burger Studios in Sydney, and was produced by Scott Horscroft and Luke Steele. Guests on the album include The Presets, Jim Moginie (Midnight Oil) and Davey Lane (You Am I), among others.

In an interview for PerthMusic,[1] drummer Malcolm Clark explains the album's title:

"Well the Personality bit has to do with all the people that were involved in making this record and the different aspects that they brought along. The Spider/Bird bit has to do with some religious symbolism. It shows the two different sides - God/Devil, Good/Evil, and leaves it up to each person to make up their own mind. Some people might see the Spider as evil and the Bird as good, other people might see the complete opposite."

Critical reception[edit]

It was released in the United Kingdom to very positive reviews from a number of publications, including NME, Mojo, Uncut, Q and The Guardian. Other reviews, such as The Independent, have been more critical, stating: "Steele's work here has been lazily and mistakenly compared to that of Spector and Wilson, but there's no succulent centre of comparable song craft hiding inside these over-egged, tune-dodging arrangements, merely the fantasy that ambition is the gateway to genius."

In Craig Mathieson's book, Playlisted, he argues that Steele is overrated and that the album was "overblown for the sake of being overblown".[2]

The album debuted at number 10 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and number 69 on the Swedish Albums Chart.[3] The album was also nominated for a J Award by Australian radio station Triple J. Three singles were released from the album: "God Lead Your Soul" in May 2006, "Devil Was in My Yard" in September 2006 (in Australia only), and "I Understand What You Want but I Just Don't Agree" in October 2006 (UK only).

The album did not receive the same commercial success as Lovers with only 50,000 copies sold.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Luke Steele except where noted.

  1. "You Needed More" – 3:09
  2. "Devil Was in My Yard" – 3:21
  3. "God Lead Your Soul" – 3:29
  4. "Work Alone" – 3:03
  5. "God Knows" – 2:58
  6. "I Understand What You Want but I Just Don't Agree" – 3:20
  7. "Miles Away" – 2:36
  8. "Higher Than Hell" – 2:55
  9. "Play a Little Bit for Love" – 4:30
  10. "Don't Say" (Steele, Andrew Klippel, Jessica Origliasso, Lisa Origliasso) – 3:06
  11. "You Won't Bring People Down in My Town" – 3:18
  12. "Dream On" – 2:58
  13. "How Was I Supposed to Know" – 4:04

A special edition was also released in Australia, which included a bonus DVD featuring a 'making-of' the album documentary, the music video for "God Lead Your Soul", and a photo gallery.


  1. ^ Malcolm Clark interview
  2. ^ a b Collins, Simon (26 September 2009). "Man of Steele". The West Australian. West Australian Newspapers Ltd. 
  3. ^ Album Chart Listing - Personality - One Was A Spider, One Was A Bird