• Xtina

ALBUM REVIEW: Birdland Avenue "Come Around"

New music from the self described Neo-vocal pop group based in Boston, MA

Kayla, Adrienne, Toria & Evan are Birdland Avenue, and they have just released their debut album titled Come Around, and it showcases the group's songwriting, arranging, and vocal abilities enhanced by several technological elements. It's soothing, exciting, and riddled with infectious energy.

The album opens with Breeze Baby, a simple melody is presented, harmonized, and evolves into an anthem-like invitation to the hearts and minds of "The Birds". It is a beautifully developed song, peppered with body percussion and vocal treatments reminiscent of Sylvan Esso. Breeze Baby is followed by On My Mind, and you cannot resist the urge to dance along. Anything Forever might be my favorite track, that includes some of my favorite arranging techniques used so tastefully, that it's really easy to get swept up into, a place you wouldn't mind staying for a while. Instead of making the mistake many vocal ensembles make of taking stories that may not be theirs to tell or adopting performance practices that come off as empty and inappropriate, The Birds welcome the talent of Noel Pancho to add something unexpected to the average a cappella listener.

Rabbit Hole is arranged so well, it will take several listens to catch all of the moving parts, yet it never once feels overwhelming. I'd Understand brings back that simplicity, with just a few stray snaps, to create an open, uncluttered texture, allowing space to breathe and grow. The vocal writing reminds you of the queens of 90's R&B, a sound that is so nostalgic and comforting. So engaging to the very last solo line. Don't Count on Me follows with a fresh new groove, and great interaction between voiced out lines and prime unisons, and great treatment of the background lines which allows the human voice to sound as close to a synth as possible, setting Birdland Avenue apart from several semi-professional and professional vocal groups. Sapphire & Gold includes yet again new way to digest the human voice, spoken word. The hit-hat sounds are reminiscent of grooves you might hear in hip-hop, rap, and trap music. I'm not a huge fan of this personally, but I also take public transit in Los Angeles, so you can say I've been overexposed. I can't fault The Birds for it!

The album closes with Just Go, and I have to say... this album is an INCREDIBLE debut. It's cohesive, accessible, and I guarantee it's an album you can listen to front to back with no skipping in-between. Congrats Kayla, Adrienne, Toria & Evan, on being unapologetically authentic, and proving like many groups before you, that a cappella is much more than boots and cats.


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