Birdy, a 16-year-old Brit who became famous in the U.S. after her rendition of Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” went viral on YouTube, released her second album on Sept. 23 in the U.K.
The new album, entitled “Fire Within,” is Birdy’s first self-written album. The self-titled album she released in 2011 consisted entirely of covers.
The music on “Fire Within” is similar in character to Birdy’s first album, but it also introduces new sounds that balance the album into a complete package. The lead single, “Wings,” is an epic ballad with swooning vocals that creates lasting impressions on the listener.
Fans of her original album will love “All You Never Say.” A promotional single, it is one of the strongest songs on the album. Using lullaby-sounding lyrics and background music, Birdy produces a soft, yet powerful song that recreates her image.
Unlike most of her music, Birdy’s “Light Me Up” mixes gospel and 1980s techno together to make a fun track. Filled with background choruses and danceable instrumentals, this song will attract top-40 listeners, while keeping alternative fans pleased with her growth.
One of the album’s most upbeat songs, “Maybe,” is like something out of a Colbie Calliet or Ingrid Michaelson record. “Maybe” is as cheery a song as Birdy has ever done, and proves just how versatile she can be. “Maybe,” along with “Light Me Up,” provide the otherwise sad collection of tracks with some lighthearted fun.
Birdy’s “Strange Birds” is another track that is worth a listen. Using haunting vocals and soft piano keys, “Strange Birds” sounds unlike anything listeners will have heard. It is fresh, powerful and emotional.
Perhaps the only song not up to par with the otherwise terrific album is “Heart Of Gold.” The song distracts from the beauty of Birdy’s vocals due to large amounts of confusing instruments. Listeners will hear a distinct tapping from what sounds like a drum or synthesizer throughout the song. This tapping forces the track to sound almost like two songs are playing at once, making the song overly layered and confusing. In addition, “Heart Of Gold” changes way too often. Birdy’s voice sounds strained, as though it was struggling to overpower the instruments.
“Fire Within” reintroduces Birdy as the amazing, young artist that she has become. Filled with piano ballads, swooning vocals and emotional lyrics, the second album from this songbird grasps the listener’s attention immediately. Bringing in new sounds along with her signature style, Birdy proves that she is capable of producing artful lyrics and creative, original music.