[119] The Byrds - The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968)

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21 avr. 2009, 22h12m

The Byrds - The Notorious Byrd Brothers

You always know what to expect from The Byrds: an album that at first doesn't sound that special, but steadily grows on you with every listen. The Notorious Byrd Brothers is no exception, although the first track Artificial Energy first suggests the opposite. With the horns this song sounds totally different than what we're used to from The Byrds, but from the second track on everything's back to normal.

No, every Byrds album seems to sound similar to the previous one, but there are always subtle differences. Listening more to this album is again discovering its unique identity. The Byrds have never sounded so far away, so trippy, and so beautiful. Going boldly where no Byrd has gone before: singing higher notes and even softer than before... sometimes even a country influence can be heard. (But that's for the next Byrds album). I would even say this is the best Byrds album until now.

As usual, the lyrics are also worth the attention. Most of them have a certain sadness, which goes together very well with the atmosphere created by their harmonic singing.

I will want to die beneath the white cascading waters
She may beg, she may plead, she may argue with her logic
And then she'll know the things I learned
That really have no value in the end she will surely know
I wasn't born to follow

(Wasn't Born To Follow)

Change is now, change is now
Things that seemed to be solid are not
All is now, all is now
The time that we have to live

(Change Is Now)

The 1001 album book likes The Byrds a lot: almost all of their albums until now are included in the list. And although at first listen I always think "Hmmm, more of the same", I always have to admit in the end that it's again an album that keeps growing and growing, revealing its secrets.

Aren't those the most surprising ones?

(Hoog in de lucht: Goin' Back, Artificial Energy, Draft Morning, Change Is Now -the guitar!-, Tribal Gathering)

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