Bomb In a Birdcage (Bonus Track Version)
Alison Sudol (a.k.a. A Fine Frenzy) has birthed a sophomore effort that is leaps and bounds ahead of her 2007 debut. Where her first album leaned hard on piano ballads and a whimsical folkish flare, A Bomb In a Birdcage gets with more up-tempo tunes, less predictable arrangements, and a road-honed voice exuding more control on those high-alto Leslie Feist-inspired inflections. “What I Wouldn’t Do” coasts on nostalgic childhood imagery in the lyrics while sunny melodies flutter under bike-pedaling rhythms of handclaps and an organic beat that sounds like drumsticks tapping the trunk of a tree. “Electric Twist” dissolves singer-songwriter clichés with a retro backdrop of new-wave instrumentation and a sublime disco beat pumping gently under some really cool sounding synthesizers. “Blow Away” bumps up a decade with catchy electro-pop reminiscent of ‘90s college radio faves like the Lightning Seeds. Toward the end we’re treated to a few of the piano serenades that helped launch her career, the most moving being “Bird of the Summer,” a lilting love song that perfectly walks the line between a young heart and an old soul.