Andrew Bird is who Sting and David Byrne think they are - a literate, polymath musician whose lyrics are poetic and intelligent, and whose music combines the touch of a classical musician with the soul of a blues man, but who does it with effortless style and wit. Armchair Apocrypha is actually his tenth album, following the quite incredible Mysterious Production of Eggs, but this is his first for edgy blues label Fat Possum (where The Black Keys got their start).
On it, his normal repertoire is expanded ever so slightly - slightly more rock and slightly more electronica has eased into the genre mix - but this is perhaps the best thing he has ever done. The lyrics are as out there as ever - the more English literature you've read, the better set up you'll be - and the aching, soulful voice makes each song a perfect little laid -back vignette, a catchy piece of pop perfection, deliciously told. Bird is wonderful little secret of a musician for a thinking listener, and this is his best album - enough said.