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April 2000

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire
Oh! The Grandeur
Rykodisc

Andrew Bird, a sometime session player with Squirrel Nut Zippers, prides himself on never taking music matters too seriously. With his eclectic mix of bandmates, Bowl of Fire, the classically trained violinist and lead vocalist works as many different genres-Tin Pan Alley, Latin, pop, rock 'n' roll-into songs with titles like "Tea and Thorazine" and "Feetlips." On the new Oh! The Grandeur, the follow-up to the band's 1998 debut, Thrills, Bird & Co.-who reportedly do their studio work around a single live microphone-have a cheeky blast head-bopping through 15 fun, intentionally dusty tracks. Whether the guys are rocking the "Candy Shop" with the help of their leader's caterwauling violin or conjuring a sexy Brazilian stomp on "Coney Island Shuffle," Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire is relentless in inventing twisted musical hybrids and hurling out lyrical gibberish.

Originally published in April 2000
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