The Legend of Bird
Vitaminsforyou - The Legend Of Bird
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The Legend Of Bird's Hill

I arrived to it about a year after it was originally released, but I'm Sorry Forever And For Always by Vitaminsforyou was one of those discs that piqued my curiosity in the artist and managed to present several nice new ideas in the crowded world of electronic pop. After releasing an EP last year, singer/songwriter Bryce Kushnier has returned (with a small batch of friends) for this wide-ranging follow-up album that's a bit overlong and somewhat unwieldy, but still pretty darn fun.

Musically, Vitaminsforyou resembles a lot of other groups and artists working with similar sounds. Caribou/Manitoba, Clue To Kalo, and even the Postal Service come to mind, but Kushnier is never content to stick in one place for too long, keeping things exciting at the very least. An ode to a Canadian park of the same name, the album starts in earnest with the nearly eight-minute "So Long Pleasant Bay," as a field recording blends into soft guitar melodies before drums come in and it turns into a swirling psych-pop gem.

"Six O'Clock Whispers" peels back the instrumentation a bit and instead mingles crisp beat programming with plonky melodies, field recordings, and male/female harmony vocals that fall just this side of sappy. Kushnier seems to be at his best when he's dropping elaborate arrangements with a huge variety of instrumentation and tracks like "I Think I Know That Kind of Feeling" (which features thunderous drums, horns, plucked strings, and a load of other stuff) show off a keen sense of dynamics and timing.

My biggest problem with the album is all the little filler pieces. With almost twenty tracks and a running length of over seventy-five minutes, none of the pieces shorter than two minutes (of which there are seven) add much of anything of value. Instead, they just add further distance between the songs that do work, including the psychedelic disco-house of "Wishing I Lived Near Water," which blisters a brisk beat, jungle sound effects, multiple layers of filtered vocals, and some slippery bass lines. The Legend of Bird's Hill probably could have been better with a little more editing, but overall it's an ambitious effort that's quite enjoyable.

rating: 7.510
Aaron Coleman 2006-06-01 21:38:32