Birdy Album Review

Birdy Album Review


By: Meilan Solly
When Jasmine Van den Bogaerde, commonly known by her stage name Birdy, performed her single “Skinny Love” for Ellen DeGeneres, DeGeneres commented, “This is unbelievable. You’re just…you’re so incredible!” This sentiment has been repeated by almost everyone who has heard Birdy sing, including Conan O’Brien and Perez Hilton.
Birdy became popular thanks to the Internet and a singing competition called Open Mic UK. Her YouTube videos have amassed over 45 million views. Birdy has had several hit singles plus a song in The Hunger Games album, and her music has been featured in the hit show The Vampire Diaries. Overall, not bad for someone who’s only 15!
On November 4th, Birdy’s self-titled debut album Birdy was released in the UK. On March 20th, Birdy was released in the U.S.  It includes one original song, “Without a Word,” and 10 covers of popular alternative and indie songs such as “1901” and “People Help the People.”
The best track on Birdy also happens to be the most popular one: “Skinny Love.” The song tells the story of a couple whose relationship is starting to fall apart. One of the partners begins to question love and everything it entails. My favorite verse from this song is “I tell my love to wreck it all / Cut out all the ropes and let me fall / My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my / Right at the moment this order’s tall.” When Birdy sings the “my, my, my” section, her voice is haunting.
The original “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver is a fast-paced song; Birdy’s cover is slow and soft. It emanates a feeling of longing, while the original makes the listener feel hope. When the two versions are compared, the original “Skinny Love” edges out Birdy’s version. In its own right, though, Birdy’s “Skinny Love” is incredible.
One of the only problems critics have had with Birdy is that she mainly covers songs instead of writing her own. A comment on Birdy’s iTunes page said the following: “The problem is she’s taking songs from a diverse set of artists such as Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, The Postal Service, The Naked & Famous, Phoenix, and The XX, and making them sound all alike!” The commenter added “this girl has a killer voice … [and] having your own interpretation of a song is something to be admired, but if you’re going to interpret 11 different songs by other artists, try and interpret them differently.”
This statement is definitely true, because most of Birdy’s songs have the same problem as “Skinny Love”: they are exceptional mainly when they aren’t compared to the originals. Also, when one listens to more than 3 Birdy songs one after the other, they start to blend together.
“Without a Word” is Birdy’s only original song on her debut album. It is, quite honestly, flawless. Birdy’s vocals are strong, and her lyrics are decidedly poignant. If Birdy wrote more songs just like this one, then she would have a shot at becoming the next Adele. She’s already on her way there, but more original songs will make a vast difference in the amount of time it takes for Birdy to become a household name.
Don’t miss: “Skinny Love,” “People Help the People,” “Without a Word,” and “1901”