Birdseye Review

Tony Rich kicks off the follow-up to his hit Words, with the track "Birdseye." While the song is more up-tempo than Rich's usual material, the track reflects his style. All of his songs run deeper than just the literal meaning of the lyrics, as Rich finds ways to reinvigorate the usual love songs with intricate imagery. "Birdseye" is an enjoyable song with diverse vocals but it is nothing incredible compared to his other works. In addition, the song seems to run a bit long as it nears its finish.

"Silly Man" seems like a stupid song at first, with bizarre lyrics like "I'll bake you a chocolate cake" and "We make love like instruments." However, listening to the song throughout, it's truly a wonderful piece. The song doesn't have a chorus and flows nicely as Rich weaves a story. In addition, while the lyrics are bizarre, they enforce the ideas of friends having fun together and details the way they move towards being lovers. Overall, the song has some nice vocals and is a clever take on a tired theme.

"No Time Soon" offers a similarly light mood but conveys itself in a different manner. The lyrics are simple and the verses are shorter than the sweeping storyboard of "Silly Man." However, in its message, the track seems liberating with a rising chorus and a feeling of nonchalance that runs through your bones.

Probably the best track on the album, "If You're An Angel" changes the pace of the album and is a slow, heart-wrenching track. The song is a great example of Tony Rich's vocal abilities as he laces the track with soul and emotion. The song grips you with the feeling of someone you love that left you and really drives home. A solid effort.

The fifth track on the album, "Bed" is a meaningful track that has a few sparkling moments where Rich's vocals shine. However, the song lacks the punch of earlier numbers and can feel repetitive at times. Nevertheless, its lacings of soul can reach out and grab you, giving the song some strength despite its weaker delivery.

"Cool Like That" removes the somber mood of the last two tracks and returns to the fun vibes of the earlier jams. The song is a fun up-tempo number that highlights Tony Rich's diversity. His vocals do well on the track though the song does start to get repetitive near the end.

Comparable to "If You're An Angel," "Thoughts Of Leavin" is a beautiful song that is also probably the most explicit in its message. The song is similar to Babyface's "When Men Grow Old" and is about a woman who has to deal with a husband that is losing his feelings for the relationship. The songs lyrics are what truly make this number golden as Rich fleshes out the woman's struggle to make things work. Overall, this song is beautiful and very touching.

"My Stomach Hurts," the eighth track on the album, seems a foreshadow of Rich's next album, Ressurected. The song places some emphasis on a guitar part that even comes out in a solo at one point. The vocals aren't incredible on the track, but the songs lyrics are what really seize the prize. Throughout the track, an interesting picture of a person fighting the pain of a loved one leaving shines in deep images. The song is an enjoyable listen that shows Tony Rich's diverse set of talents.

The ninth track, "Blue Butterfly" seems to be a little above me as I'm not 100% on the message being delivered. If I've gathered it right, Rich likens himself to a worm and is singing to another worm that has since grown into a butterfly and left him behind. The song's complex metaphor is a great example of how Rich is able to take a common theme as a loved one who moves on, and to paint it in a manner unlike any other. The song's imagery is beautiful and the vocals work well throughout. Overall, a pleasant listen, if only a bit too complex.

Closing out the album, "Ain't No Laughing" is a soulful track in which Rich really lets the sounds out on this one. His voice is a bit raspy as he sings about life without a loved one who has passed away. The song's a pleasant listen and draws its message through nice images.

tl;dr: Tony Rich scored a second solid album with Birdseye. The album is only ten tracks long, but each track is well worth a listen and will have you coming back again and again. While Rich does a great job on all aspects of the album, it is his deep, meaningful lyrics that really differentiate him from the crowd.