Album Review: Birdy – Fire Within

Though it’s her second studio album, Fire Within feels a bit like Birdy’s debut. The English musician’s self-titled first album, a compilation of extraordinary covers with just one original song, showcased her exceptional vocal range. But on Fire Within, Birdy (born Jasmine van den Bogaerde) proves that in addition to her versatile voice, she’s an unbelievable songwriter as well.

The 17-year-old wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks on the album, (recorded in Los Angeles and London) in collaboration with a handful of modern hit-makers, including Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and Dan Wilson, who co-wrote and produced Adele’s “Someone Like You.” One fluent feeling conveyed in several songs on Fire Within is longing. Longing to be by a lover’s side who is a distance away (“Wings”), longing to hear a stubborn lover’s true feelings (“All You Ever Say”), longing to find a way to make things work (“Standing In The Way Of The Light”).

Birdy’s at her best on songs like “Shine,” where her virtuoso talent for piano is accompanied by wise-beyond-her-years sentiments vocalized to make a hauntingly beautiful ballad. Lyrics like “if your heart tells you to, than who are you to question it” and “you have your whole life ahead of you, come make a mess of it” among other declarations make “Shine” an honest, genuinely compassionate track. “Maybe” is another standout number about pursuing passions, this time featuring a chipper guitar ensemble rather than a somber piano.

Any given song on Fire Within might surface a particularly strong emotion or trigger an elusive memory. At the end of it all, the album is an ingenious collection of raw, powerful melodies. First-time listeners will no doubt summon Google to confirm that Birdy is really just a teenager. With such astonishing talent at such a young age, Birdy is unquestionably a prodigy, and Fire Within is a testament to that.


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  1. Pingback: Album Review: Christina Perri – Head Or Heart - Rock On Philly

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