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Andrew Bird's Bowl Of Fire | The Swimming Hour (Rykodisc)
With the sexiest vocals since (dare I say) The King, Andrew Bird will most certainly seduce you with The Swimming Hour. Beginning with the endearing tour diary, Two-Way Action, a story of late night journeys, blurred light highways and the dreaded return from the road when our hero finds his... "significant with another... I think I am gonna call my mother / let the subject wander/ issues of blonde hair / or something or other". The half teasing lyrics of Why? ["how I wish it was a temper you were throwing / damn you for being so easy going"] exposes Bird's lazy Sunday sensibilities. Anyone familiar with previous Bowl Of Fire releases or Andrew's violin work with the Squirrel Nut Zippers will notice a slight departure from the swing, but will be most appreciative of the strings on 11:11, Waiting To Talk, and Dear Old Greenland which are particularly gorgeous.

Tracy Lee Jackson
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001