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 The Birds

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DrunkenEngineer
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Thu 10 Mar 2011, 23:26

This is certainly one of my favourites, what a way to kick off proceedings! Two things came to mind on first
listen....
frenetic synth in the middle section is almost reminiscent of birdsong, darting about, bit random.
Also, there's a "Snowball" vibe towards the end, soaring vocal over the chanting backing vocals? Or maybe
it's just me :-)

Amazing track however you interpret it.


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errant
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Fri 11 Mar 2011, 08:26

2dot wrote:
Mr Woman wrote:
I thought exactly the same thing with regard to that middle section, to the point where I'm not entirely convinced PG isn't there, lurking somewhere low in the mix!

I actually thought that too, some of those backing vocals sound...familiar? Guy spent some time at Real World, didn't he?

Indeed he did...
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Mr Woman
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Fri 11 Mar 2011, 09:32

Apart from "are we cracking up?", the big question is, would someone the stature of Peter Gabriel do an uncredited backing vocal? It's not entirely beyond the realms of possibility: He can pretty much do whatever he wants on his own terms after all.

The trouble is, of course, there's no way of knowing. The birds are the keepers of this secret.

A possible clue in the RTE interview:

Guy: "...I was writing that song in the countryside in Real World studios in Bath and there are so many birds around there and I needed a vehicle to describe a nostalgic thought about the last encounter of a doomed love affair and I thought what could trigger that memory on a regular basis and I thought if the character in the song considered the birds the only key to the secret because they're the only witness to this moment of passion in a field. In a lot of mythology and poetry, birds inhabit people's souls. I like the idea of an old man sitting in his bath chair looking at the birds and remembering a certain moment."

The final sentence of the paragraph also gives an insight into the thinking behind the reprise.


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The Final Track
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Fri 11 Mar 2011, 11:49

Can imagine it'll sound thunderous live Very Happy Such a great song!
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Dano
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Fri 11 Mar 2011, 18:55

i'm not sure about this song. i prefer Ribcage or Starlings. musically it's a bit cerebral for me, not truly inspired.


Last edited by Dano on Fri 11 Mar 2011, 21:15; edited 1 time in total
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yesman
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Fri 11 Mar 2011, 21:08

Not been on the forum for quite a while... mainly because I seem to have managed to get a computer virus when I have visited the site on a couple of occasions. Put me off coming on the site . Seems a bit slow now even.

Maybe just my bad luck ?

Anyway, I am risking it again given the new album is finally here !

Love this track

Combined with Lippy Kids, makes the rest of the album tough to follow .

Anyway, Hi . Good to be back, Hopefully I can stay around without any technical hitches !
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elbowismymuse
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Sat 12 Mar 2011, 15:03

Listened to this twice again today.

It's really quite incredible isn't it? The IMAGERY... so alive in so much of their work.

Seriously epic. Beyond exemplary. Listening again already... ;-)
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Jones
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Sat 12 Mar 2011, 20:35

I am absolutely loving this track!
The slow build, the mood-change in the middle and the soaring end...
Woohoo! Goosebumps!
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TamedLamia
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Sun 20 Mar 2011, 14:25

This song is my fave one, it is just the Elbow that I love since 2001, I am so relieved, that this record has again that special Elbow sound that is so hard to describe... Very Happy
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Jason
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Sun 20 Mar 2011, 23:58

This record is great and easily my fave track on the new album, haunting and with different layers, like early Elbow stuff, atmospheric sound is Elbow at their best Smile
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@MrIanGibson
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 22 Mar 2011, 08:40

I listened to The Birds 3 times on the way to work, it is now permanently wired inside my head. Possibly one of my favourites songs ever (not just Elbow). My favourite on the album was The Night Will Always Win. The Birds has overtaken now. The album just keeps getting better and better with every listen.
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My Bury Vest
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 22 Mar 2011, 09:00

Yeah, for me it's been a slow burner from the off - liked it immediately but now LOVE it - makes sense live even more. Definitely for me, has an 'Any Day Now' vibe running through it.

As I've earlier said - sets the scene brilliantly for the rest of the record.
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Jones
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 22 Mar 2011, 14:02

My Bury Vest wrote:
Definitely for me, has an 'Any Day Now' vibe running through it.

I feel it's quite like 'Tower Crane', what with the slow build up, the big climax towards the end and then the gentle finish... (mmm, sounds like a date(!), ahem Embarassed )
Anyway, that's one of my favourites as well!
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ticky
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 22 Mar 2011, 14:24

Couldn't have put it better myself Jones! ha ha!!
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LongLegs
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 22 Mar 2011, 14:33

Jones that was beautiful!! Love it Razz
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Eag
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Wed 23 Mar 2011, 00:45

This is the one for me so far. (this is only my first day with the album!)

With SSK my initial thoughts on each song formed themselves into what previous Elbow tracks I was reminded of. Now "The Birds" struck me as Ribcage shot through with Hotel Istanbul - the looping then bursting of the former withthe bustling yet grandiose musical scope of the latter. But I saw a comment here (can't remember whose, sorry!) likening it to Newborn... and it sounds heretical but I'm tempted.

This song is enormous, and it may just be a rough patch in life but it just about brought me to tears the first couple of times I listened to it. Guy's voice in the last couple of minutes is just incredible - what a glorious instrument to convey the gorgeous words & deep themes he's drawn up.
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SwingKing
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PostSubject: Re: The Birds   Tue 28 Jun 2011, 19:46

What a way to start an album. I remember turning to the missus on first hearing it on the CD's obligatory first playthrough in the car, "Seven minutes...past seven minutes...eight minutes...!" Ever the prog fan, I see Elbow as being the natural successor to Genesis's crown (and, though he'd hate me saying it I'm sure, Guy is the natural successor to Phil Collins in his frontman guise at his best - self-effacing, naturally charming and a perfect communicator). This is progressive music that it's okay to like! Prog rock isn't about weird chord changes, awful tempos, widdly keyboard solos and songs about goblins and jester's tears; it's about being forward-thinking, capturing emotions and pushing boundaries (in my opinion anyway!). It's not self-indulgent and it's not about virtuso playing - which discounts a lot of these bands whose music you can predict before even hearing a note: Spock's Beard, Dream Theatre, Pendragon...all that pish.

The Birds is a long song, but it's as long as it needs to be. It's a well-worn phrase, but "the perfect marriage of words and music" could have been invented for this tune alone.
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