A Fine Frenzy – Bomb In A Birdcage (2009)

Alison Loren Sudol (born December 23, 1984), also known by her musical moniker A Fine Frenzy, is an American alternative singer-songwriter, pianist, actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

a fine frenzy

Bomb in a Birdcage is the second studio album by A Fine Frenzy, the stage name of American singer-songwriter Alison Sudol. The album was released on August 28, 2009 in Germany and on September 8, 2009 in the United States. “Bomb in a Birdcage” debuted at #28 on the U.S. Billboard 100, a career high for Sudol. The album’s singles were digitally released via iTunes: “Blow Away” in July 2009, followed by “Happier” and “Electric Twist” in 2010. Two bonus tracks were also included with exclusive editions of the album on iTunes and Amazon MP3 respectively: “Coming Around” and “Silent War”. The album’s title is taken from the end of the LP’s first song, “What I Wouldn’t Do”, where Sudol sings: “It was now and we were both in the same place / Didn’t know how to say the words / With my heart ticking like a bomb in a birdcage / I left before someone got hurt.” In an iTunes podcast about “The World Without”, Sudol revealed that she felt “Bomb in a Birdcage” is about “two totally messed up people trying to stay afloat despite all the odds.”

What a difference two years can make. Alison Sudol introduced herself as a piano-playing pixie on 2007’s One Cell in the Sea, stuffing her debut album with lilting vocals and fairy tale lyrics. Although that combination spawned several upbeat songs, ballads proved to be Sudol‘s bread and butter, and she soon found herself saddled with the unfortunate task of re-creating the album’s intimacy in a live concert setting. Two years after Sea‘s release, Sudol returns with a second record, having taken a lesson from the road and fine-tuned her music accordingly. There are still several ballads here, particularly during the album’s latter half, but Sudol knows that faster tunes work better in concert, where both the band and the audience can share in the same catharsis. Accordingly, Bomb in the Birdcage is a lively piece of work, with songs that take flight and arrangements that couch her vocals in tasteful heaps of strings, harmonies, and piano. A Fine Frenzy truly sounds like a band here, with guitarist David Levita leading the group on several numbers and drummer Jesse Siebenberg adding percussive nuances to one of the album’s best tunes, “New Heights.” Elsewhere, “What I Wouldn’t Do” blends acoustic guitar and handclaps into a summery folk song, the sort of sprightly thing that’s appropriate for coffeehouses and campfires alike, while “Electric Twist” flirts with the Bird and the Bee‘s cool, nuanced electro-pop. Sudol sounds ecstatic throughout the album, her cooing voice often giving way to delighted yelps, and Bomb in the Birdcage is a fitting display of the explosives this songbird now has in her arsenal.


1.  “What I Wouldn’t Do”   (Alison Sudol)  – 2:57
2.  “New Heights”   (Sudol, Jesse Siebenberg)  – 4:12
3.  “Electric Twist”   (Sudol)  – 4:31
4.  “Blow Away”   (Sudol, Lukas Burton)  – 4:09
5.  “Happier”   (Sudol, Burton)  – 3:30
6.  “Swan Song”   (Sudol)  – 3:43
7.  “Elements”   (Sudol)  – 3:24
8.  “The World Without”   (Sudol, Burton)  – 4:15
9.  “Bird of the Summer”   (Sudol)  – 3:18
10.  “Stood Up”   (Sudol, Burton)  – 4:48
11.  “The Beacon”   (Sudol)  – 3:22

Bonus Tracks
12. “Silent War” (Amazon MP3 Bonus Track)  (Sudol) – 4:25
13. “Coming Around”  (iTunes Bonus Track)  (Sudol) – 4:23

Companies, etc.



Released:  2009
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Indie Rock
Length:  51:03

Label – Virgin Records

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