The Foreign Exchange

Authenticity

October 12, 2010

Adult Contemporary R&B

Somehow more lush and downcast than 2008's Leave It All Behind, Nicolay and Phonte's third proper album together is neither an everyday nor an every-day album, unless playing it is necessary for the sake of convalescence. Opening with an eerie intro similar to that of the Grammy-nominated "Daykeeper," Authenticity promptly gets to the black heart of the matter and frequently dips into an alluring type of despondent heartache that is improbably soothing.

- Andy Kellman

Andrew Bird

Noble Beast

January 20, 2009

Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

A classically trained violinist since the age of four, Bird has skillfully integrated nearly everything with strings on it into his repertoire since his conversion from the Weill and Brecht-heavy days of Music of Hair, Thrills, and Oh! The Grandeur to the semi-mainstream indie pop of The Swimming Hour, but it's his seemingly limitless capacity for manipulation of the violin that dominates Noble Beast.

- James Monger