Album Review: Birdy releases new album “Beautiful Lies”

BirdyYou may not know it, but there’s more to English singer/songwriter Birdy, than her cover of “Skinny Love.” The 19-year-old has successfully made a name for herself in the music world with a number one album (Birdy), a 2014 BRIT nomination and an Oscar nomination for her 2012 contribution to the movie Brave, with Mumford and Sons.

But sometimes it’s hard to think of Birdy and not think of her lasting impression with “Skinny Love.” Since then, she’s released two albums, and on March 25, while the world was going crazy over ZAYN’s new album, Birdy quietly released one of the strongest contributions towards the music world in a long, long time.

“Keeping Your Head Up,” the first single off of Beautiful Lies represents the album’s overall tone and structure, with a soft build-up before hitting a crescendo in the chorus and tapering off slowly and acoustically; its partner in crime is “Hear You Calling,” the second Steve Mac produced track, a piano turned pop turned Passion Pit electronic that Birdy wraps her voice around like soft smoke.

The only way to describe Birdy’s voice is just that: soft smoke. Beautiful Lies demonstrates the naturally soft but powerful vocal ability Birdy possesses, where the only thing that hits hard are the lyrics. In fact, this is the album Rachel Platten was trying so hard to put out. The songs are anthems.

Birdy masters the difficulty of releasing an empowering album without beating the same message into the ground over again.

“Silhouette” is a vulnerable look into the desperate feeling of grasping for that second wind of strength: “Don’t go shouting out loud / That you’re claiming the crown / I’m down but not out.”

“Wild Horses” runs in the same vein of heartbreak, but the anthem takes on that tone of being undefeated: “I will survive and be the one who’s stronger / I will not beg you to stay / I will move on and you should know I mean it / Wild horses run in me.”

“Save Yourself” is the most haunting of the album, an ode to letting go of a love that is burning out: “After all it’s said and done / Sin is what cannot reward / So save yourself, my darling / Give the love that’s dying.”

Arguably the best acoustically driven song from the album has to be “Unbroken,” written by Birdy and Simon Aldred. The track connects with “Keeping Your Head Up,” a continuous theme throughout the triumphant album: Moving forward. “Many moons will lighten the way
And sure this night will follow a day / And everything you once loved remains / Unbroken, unbroken, unbroken.”

Beautiful Lies serves as Birdy’s coming-of-age album that is meant for no one but is for everyone. It’s empowering, vulnerable, and all-consuming in its soft but conquering tones. Safe to say, every song on this album will make more of a lasting impression than “Skinny Love.”

Highlight lyrics:

“Growing Pains”: “I feel these growing pains / Have made us far too strong / We’ll change if you want to change.”

“Deep End”: Someone told me but I won’t know / That I feel half empty, ripped and torn / They say there’d be plenty other hands to hold / Now I wish they’d told me long ago.”

“Beautiful Lies”: Cause I want to be forever / Like smoke in the air / Float like a feather going nowhere / Lost in the silence / I don’t need to be free.”

10/10

Beautiful Lies is released through Atlantic Records. Birdy will be touring this summer, you can find dates on her website.

Brooke Pawling Stennett is a college student pursuing a degree in Multimedia Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction in the old Windy City. She tends to lean toward the obsessive side of the tracks when it comes to books and music. She's an avid concert attendee (or at least she tries to!) and rambler. She'd like to travel the world and write about it, but in the only ways she knows how: sarcastically and full of internet jargon. Her opinions are her best ones, especially if they involve boy-bands and Netflix. . .even though she doesn't even have her own account. You can tweet her at @br_stennett and tell her how ridiculous (and totally great!) her opinions are.