The latest release from A Fine Frenzy isn’t too much of a departure from their first album. In places, the beats are a little harder, the bass a little louder, but at the heart of the album are the simple yet often heartbreaking lyrics of Alison Sudol. This shouldn’t come too much as a surprise, though, and it’s not a bad thing. After all, it’s not like Sudol is likely to ever take some leap off the deep end and start experimenting with heavy electronica or anything. Â (Although if she did, I’m pretty sure I’d check it out anyway.) Some of the songs seem to be a bit more upbeat than the ones found on One Cell in the Sea, all of which really had the same gentle indie pop sensibilities.
The album gets off to a great start, with the pretty harmonies and handclaps of “What I Wouldn’t Do”, which contains the line that gives the album its name: “With my heart ticking like a bomb in a birdcage,Â I left before someone got hurt”. The first single, “Blow Away”, is an energetic and captivating pop tune.Â Bomb in a Birdcage is an easy album to get lost in; this is both good and bad. Â Several times while listening, I realized that I’d completely zoned out and missed several songs, so I had to go back and re-listen. Sudol’s vocals are beautiful and soothing, which contribute to that ease-of-getting-lost feeling. The album’s not forgettable, but there also aren’t any songs that I’ve got stuck in my head after a few listens.
Bomb in a Birdcage is an excellent sophomore release from A Fine Frenzy, containing enough new-sounding material to keep the music from being stagnant, but not being so radical a departure from what fans expect as to turn people away. It’s definitely worth a listen, at the very least, and I can already tell after listening to it a few times that it is starting to grow on me.
Bomb in a Birdcage was released September 8, 2009, and is available just about everywhere. Stream the album on their official website, then buy it if you like it!