Review : Birdy - Birdy
BBCFor its 11 tracks, a trio of knob-twiddlers as trendy as the track selection – Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys), Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand) and James Ford (Klaxons) – keep things intimate and slightly shivery. However, many songs boast a more robust production than Skinny Love; Birdy's piano chords are often cloaked in an alluring veil of reverberation, and embellished with strings, vocal overdubs and even a few drum loops. However, when the record threatens to stray into MOR territory, it’s set straight by Birdy's vocals, as pure and emotionally resonant as teardrops trickling down unblemished skin.
Does this teenage siren really appreciate the lyrics she's singing, mostly written by men twice her age? That's a matter of conjecture, but the LP's sole original – an ambiguous break-up song called Without a Word – suggests her emotional intensity is no pose. Either way, it's hard not to declare the record an admittedly limited success – what’s here points to a brighter future for Birdy than the last British female to pique curiosity with a clever covers set. Besides, at 15, she already seems far too self-possessed to make an ass of herself at the Brit Awards....full text
NMEJasmine Van den Bogaerde, you might think, doesn’t get it. The New Forest 15-year-old’s take on Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’ may offend because it does not plumb the depths of Real Indie Music, but she’s actually damn smart. By putting out a tasteful set of sorrow-wallowing wet-indie covers produced by James Ford just before Christmas, she’s building a profile that’ll allow her considerably more control over album number two. The sole original, ‘Without A Word’, is pretty overegged, but hey, the world is overegged when you’re 15. As to the rest, the likes of Phoenix’s ‘1901’ were hardly things of life-changing gravitas to begin with. Get over it and give the kid a chance. ...full text
Digital spyThere's been a lot of talk this year about the kids on The X Factor being too young for all that telly and fame stuff, but they're practically veterans compared to the 15-year-old Birdy. After winning the Open Mic UK talent contest in 2008 at the age of 12, Jasmine Van den Bogaerde swiftly signed a record deal and has received an awful lot attention since.
These are some great tracks, getting pretty interpretations which seems win-win for new listeners and original artists alike. Whether or not she's got a crate full of coloured vinyl at home and a stack of archived copies of Spin is irrelevant. Unlike say, Templecloud's annoyingly inoffensive Embrace cover, it certainly sounds like Birdy means what she's singing, and that's the important thing....full text
Times LiveShe is only 15 years old and has a voice that can bring down a house.Her self-titled debut album, although a set of cover versions, is a showcase of what this girl can do.
Whatever doubt lay at the back of my mind is set straight by those gripping vocals, pure and emotionally resonant.
Not many people are convinced and are passing her off as a novelty. She may sound like one now, but I await the second album.
Yes, Birdy has a lot of growing up to do in terms of coming up with her own songs, but her rich, full vocals are there waiting to break free, and I have a feeling she won't be caged for long....full text
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