Thursday, 24 March 2016

Birdy 'Beautiful Lies' Deluxe Album Review

Birdy officially drops her new album 'Beautiful Lies' tomorrow. The English singer-songwriter returns with her third album, which is more hopeful, centered on change and finding herself, now aged nineteen.

The increased production time for this album has meant that Birdy was more involved with the producing this time around from beginning to end, and brings us 14 new tracks, with an additional 5 in her deluxe edition:

1. Growing Pains 3/5
Opening track 'Growing Pains' starts with an unusual sounding Birdy (some Asian sound whilst consistent with her album cover is nowhere else to be found), which initially took me by surprise, but her vocals eventually became recognisable by the chorus. It's a track that will need a few more listens to get used to.

2. Shadow 4/5
No surprises here with 'Shadow', a moody beat-heavy track that opened with stunning piano which elevates to a chant like anthem- and for some reason could hear this being played for adverts :P 

3. Keeping Your Head Up 4/5
The lead single to the album is an upbeat, dance pop number which shows some of the new sounds Birdy is exploring on this album, whilst retaining soulful vocals. 

4. Deep End 5/5
'Deep End' brings back more of the drum beats in another soulful, moody track, that is easy to love and difficult to fault.

5. Wild Horses 5/5
One of my favourite tracks on the album. The second single 'Wild Horses' is a beautifully written evocative track that has a killer uplifting chorus. 

6. Lost It All 4/5
'Lost It All' is a piano-filled track that isn't over-produced, and a great softer moment in the album, with heartfelt lyrics and a soulful sound that builds to strong climax at the end.

7. Silhouette 5/5
As one of the more 'different' sounding tracks on the album, 'Silhouette' is slightly darker, with lyrics such as "Untie my silhouette/ it's all that its left of a broken heart/people look at my regrets to sink like shipwrecks/ through oceans dark." 'Silhouette' is definitely one stand out track.

8. Lifted 3/5
Unfortunately, 'Lifted' feels a bit lost on the album. Whilst I'm sure after a few listens, it will find its place, on first listen, it blends a bit too much to make it memorable.

9. Take My Heart 4/5
There is something quite haunting about this track, both musically and lyrically!

10. Hear You Calling 3/5
At first listen, 'Hear You Calling' is slightly strange and will needs a few more listens, but has a good chorus.

11. Words 4/5
'Words' is a solid ballad that hits all the right notes and stays on brand, as the album starts to wind down. This is probably my favourite of the softer tracks on the album.


12. Save Yourself 4/5
Another rather haunting track, with mellow lyrics that would really sound great live, and I'd actually quite like an acoustic version of this, just completely stripped back with piano only.

13. Unbroken 4/5
A melodic lullaby for the penultimate track on the album and one of the softest, least produced songs, setting up for the finale of 'Beautiful Lies'.

14. Beautiful Lies 4/5
Closing the standard version of the album, 'Beautiful Lies' is a softer track that perfectly defines the themes of this album. The stripped back production showcases Birdy's soulful voice.


15. Beating Heart 4/5
A darker vibe resounds again in 'Beating Heart', with mellow undertones and lyrics, building up to a soulful and powerful chorus.

16. Winter 4/5
'Winter' sounds cute and folksy, with a soft production that gives it a unique sound. 

17. Give Up 5/5
One of the most dramatic tracks on the album, 'Give Up' has a distinct pop sound washed with a moody and beat heavy bass.

18. Start Again 5/5
'Start Again' was a surprise when I first heard it, those beats mid-song gives me chills, and despite the light production, just gives it that extra wow-factor.

19. Wings (Acoustic)
Forever one of my favourite songs ever, the acoustic version of 'Wings' is an alternate arrangement with piano and percussion that I felt could actually be even more stripped back and maybe slowed down. Nonetheless, its a beautiful song and what a way to finish this new album with a fresh take on one of her best.

Wild Horses, Silhouette, Deep End, Words, Give Up, Start Again

~~~OVERALL 4/5~~~
Birdy's third album 'Beautiful Lies' is a super solid release that is consistent with her indie/soul fused with dance pop sound, with a few experiments in 'Growing Pains' and 'Hear You Calling', which on first listen sounds a bit odd, whilst 'Silhouette' is a darker sound with great lyrics that I'd love to hear more of.

Most of the album falls into safe territory, adding to the canon of Birdy tracks that fans will hear and love, in particularly 'Wild Horses', 'Beautiful Lies' and 'Deep End'.

Ultimately, 'Beautiful Lies' shows Birdy as a growing artist, and at just 19 has many more life experiences to undergo, yet to be written and sung about. This album is testament to the themes of change, growing up and relationships and we can't wait to hear more from her.

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