Birdy – Fire Within

December 7, 2013 at 6:22 PM | Posted in Birdy | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Birdy – Fire Within

1. Wings
2. Heart Of Gold
3. Light Me Up
4. Words As A Weapon
5. All You Never Say
6. Strange Birds
7. Maybe
8. No Angel
9. All About You
10. Standing In The Way Of Light
11. Shine

♦ ♦ ♦

Fire Within is the second album by British singer-songwriter Birdy, released on September 16, 2013. It is her first album with all original compositions. The album peaked at #8 on the UK charts.

From the moment I first heard Wings, I fell in love with it and I knew this would become one of the best songs of 2013. It’s not the typical Birdy song with more pop/rock elements and a clear Coldplay / Snow Patrol flavor, but this suits her so well. It’s the standout track on the album, may that be very well clear. I love this to bits ❤

The rest of the album follows a slightly more laid back pattern, but Heart Of Gold shows that it isn’t a problem. This song is perfect for making me realize that Birdy has stronger vocals than I initially thought, vulnerable and yet strong against an arrangement consisting of piano, strings and percussion. It even has some power ballad influences giving it an extra kick.

Light Me Up is just like Wings, the only exception to the overruling ballad style. This song is slightly 80s inspired, but if you should describe it in modern music terms, then it would be Florence + The Machine. I like how Birdy has the right amount of energy for an uplifting song like this one, making it very appealing and catchy.

The music for Words As Weapons reminded me so much of a combination of the Twilight soundtrack and ‘Home’  by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, combining guitar chords, piano notes and strings with an airy and mysterious ambience. The lyrics are beautiful and deep, with Birdy’s vocals really getting into the essence of it all. It’s all very small, but still it’s effective and breathtaking.

All You Never Say keeps it light with just a piano and soft percussion and a much less mysterious undertone than Words As Weapons had. The focus is on the lyrics, with Birdy singing about someone who is obviously not opening up about something. Not everyone can deliver lyrical content well, but Birdy is one of the first to capture me and draw my attention to what she is singing. Lovely!

Opening with a piano melody, Strange Birds later introduces some low strings that make the song already a bit haunting. Then the percussion drops in and some amazing chanting by Birdy, and the song really takes flight (pun intended). I have already listened to this song a couple of times because I can’t seem to get it out of my head. It’s short, but one of the most memorable tracks on the album.

After some laid back and/or mysterious tracks, we enter the second half of the album with a more uplifting guitar song. Maybe could come off as a filler track to some, but if you ask me this perfectly creates a balance between all the other tracks. It’s light and breezy, with Birdy’s vocals layered softly over the guitar chords. I can’t imagine the album without this track.

No Angel is the second single of the album, but it is less popular than Wings obviously. Still this poppy piano ballad has its own charm, putting the focus on the lyrics and Birdy’s voice. The lyrics speak about being broken, and Birdy’s voice is perfect for emphasizing all kinds of emotion in lyrics. I wouldn’t have picked this as the second single if I were her, but on the album it works perfectly.

From a piano-influenced ballad to a midtempo track with guitar chords: next we have All About You. This song was leaked before the album was released and it received mixed reviews, but this simple track is another charming gem on the album. The chanting in the background, echoing softly, makes the song even a little catchier and more memorable. I really liked it!

Standing In The Way Of The Light bears some similarities to Wings, which makes me love it so much. The same mysterious piano melodies are present and Birdy sings in her crisp clear head voice again in the chorus. This song starts off small but then it becomes much bigger, finally bringing in some energy again. The song progresses climactically, something I missed in some other tracks (that were still beautiful in their own way).

Closing the album, Shine is the last piano ballad with some amazing harmonizations when it comes to the vocals. Those same vocals are again the centerpoint of the song, showing off how good Birdy is at using both her head voice and chest voice. In the bridge she belts out her lyrics one more time, closing the album while leaving me stunned.

I was never ver much impressed by Birdy, not by Skinny Love and definitely not by People Help The People. I thought her voice lacked training, but everything changd when Wings came about. I saw the video on MTV and it got me glued to my TV, afterwards I played the song on repeat for an hour long. I decided to download her album and I’m so glad I did, because she proved herself to me for once and for all. Normally an album consisting of mostly ballads are quite boring, but Birdy has some kind of power that still draws me towards her music. Her music has depth, beautiful lyrics and her vocals have improved in the past two years. This girl is only 17 and already she has released one of the best albums of 2013. Cheers to that!

Favorite track: Wings | Heart Of Gold | Light Me Up | Strange Birds | Maybe | Standing In The Way Of The Light | Shine

OVERALL RATING
starstarstarstarstar
5 stars

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