Warning: “Spirit Bird” by Xavier Rudd doesn’t contain any hint of distortion, lyrical violence or any other form of profanity. Still with me? Good, because this album is the nexus to a listening experience unlike any other…
“Spirit Bird” is all about spiritual awareness, being in sync with nature and a more traditional forms of living, much like the Aboriginals in Australia or the Masai people in Kenya. Traditional chants, tribal drumming, didgeridoos and spiritual lyrics are pretty the backbone of this album, especially on “Lioness Eyes” and “Posper”. Xavier Rudd is equally at home in American folk music and blues, which he expertly demonstrates in “Comfortable In My Skin” and “Bow Down”. The ragged edge of Rudd’s vocals give the album a Tom Waits-like charm.
Rudd shows a more tender side on “Follow The Sun” and “Paper Thin”. It’s basically him on vocals accompanied by an acoustic guitar. The utter honesty and the fragility of his music just compels me. In a way this is very reminiscent of Eddie Vedder and his “Into The Wild” album. “Culture Bleeding” is more an avant-garde styled soundscape that conjures up more urgency and haunted images than the last three Neurosis albums combined. I’m utterly speechless about the diversity and brilliance of “Spirit Bird”.
“Spirit Bird” by Xavier Rudd is one of those records you simply need to hear. It will take many listening sessions before its true essence is revealed, but this is musical brilliance at its finest and most urgent. Heartily recommended!