Are You Serious

Andrew Bird - Are You Serious
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2016 Ratings: #188 / 775
User Score
Based on 108 ratings
2016 Ratings: #201
April 1, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Loma Vista / Label
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The Line of Best Fit

At this point, Bird knows his strengths and weaknesses perfectly, and he manages to incorporate new wrinkles into the former while leaving the latter on the cutting room floor.

The 405

What sets this record apart from others is its ability to be dynamic in composition and concise in lyrics. Everything is purposeful. That is a rare quality when it comes to modern music.


In its own way, the album is as tied to a central concept as his last few recordings, but here that concept is presented in a more expansive, more enquiring way.


Are You Serious is a mature and confident record that finds Andrew Bird exploring myriad new sounds while remaining instantly recognizable.


Easily Andrew Bird's best record in nearly a decade.


Here, with his marriage pressing on the frontlines of his memory, love rises to the surface of his lyrical repertoire, assuming a significance it has yet to achieve in his discography.

NOW Magazine

He may not be reinventing himself with each album, but his songs are so rife with double meanings and flourishes, there's always a lot to unpack.

Drowned in Sound

There is some devastating music on Are You Serious, and there is some beautiful music, too; often these passages are one and the same. It sounds like a natural progression for Andrew Bird, yet in places it’s like nothing you’d expect from the singer. 


Because it so directly explores matters of the heart, Are You Serious will likely end up as the “Andrew Bird Grows Up” album, even if it annoys him. But there’s beauty in the honesty of that evolution.

Consequence of Sound

Bird is an instrumental painter and Are You Serious is another adventure book in his impressively detailed series.

Pretty Much Amazing

Are You Serious isn’t perfect by any stretch, but on this record, Andrew Bird has compiled 11 good songs. Every track is well-produced. Every track has competent lyrics. Every track is melodically solid. Every track exhibits Bird’s impressive performing abilities. Every track is individually memorable.


While Bird could putter along on smug displays of his technical prowess, the sort he nodded to in his earliest records, he only grows more inclusive with age ... He slots his conservatory chops into increasingly accessible pop melodies, aiming for kinship over virtuosity.

Under The Radar

Are You Serious contains more modes than songs, a diverse collection held together by Bird's voice and violin, and the sheer energy of the music.


This is the strongest Bird has sounded in some time, but it’s not quite the monumental breakthrough that’s going to find him new fans.

A.V. Club

That’s the lasting impression of the album: slight. Where Bird is lyrically taking risks, he’s not bolstering them with melodies or arrangements that would make the move stand out.

Even at a 76 this is one of the most underrated releases of the year, and it seems to me that we've come to expect greatness from Andrew Bird to the point that we took this album for granted. Still, this is prime Andrew Bird, and probably his best album since Armchair Apocrypha. He hasn't lost any of his wit or ways with melodies, but he combines these traits with a newfound domesticity, leading to some of the most touching songs of his career.
With its acoustic and whistling panache, Andrew Bird's Are You Serious brings beautiful, catchy and thoughtful tunes that will melt your heart. The strings go from provotactive to serene, the vocals are on point with the themes, they bring the emotion that you'd expect. It's cohesive without getting repetitive, which I was afraid it'd happen after the 5th track, BUT NO, Bird really surprised me with his use of the tempo to make it diverse. This was a surprise.

Fav tracks: Capsized, Truth Lies ... read more
Lyrically, "Are You Serious" deserves praise; however, without the musical accompaniment to bring those words to life, the album is significantly hampered by banality. While some semblance of an ensemble is tacked on near the album's conclusion, it is largely too little, too late.

Notable Songs: "Capsized"; "Truth Lies Low"; "Chemical Switches"; "Valleys of the Young"
Andrew Bird is still one my favorite musicians and absolutely love everything he does.
"Semantics like a noose"
★★★★★: Roma Fade • Puma • Left Handed Kisses • Are You Serious • Saints Preservus • The New Saint Jude • Shoulder Mountain • Pulaski
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Added on: February 6, 2016