Armchair Apocrypha is American singer-songwriter Andrew Bird's fourth studio album and his third post-Bowl of Fire album. The album features more electric guitars, a change from the more acoustic-oriented Eggs, though the songs are similar in character if slightly more straightforward.
"Simple X" is a track started by collaborator Dosh, who wrote the music as the song Simple Exercises off his solo album, Pure Trash, with Bird adding lyrics. The track "Imitosis" is an expansion of the song "I" (also called "Capital I" live) on his 2003 album Weather Systems. The song "Darkmatter" is also a rehash of the song "Sweetbreads", which can be found on the live EPFingerlings 1. Both bonus tracks also evolved from previous songs: "Sick of Elephants" was originally known as "Sycophantitis" and "Self-Torture" adds lyrics and incorporates the melody from the instrumental "The Water Jet Cilice" from Fingerlings 3. Haley Bonar, who opened some shows on Bird's tour, sings background vocals on four songs.
In an interview with The A.V. Club, Bird mentioned that melodies are easier for him to write than lyrics. He was fascinated with the Scythians in 8th grade, so he decided to challenge himself to write a song about them as a way to jump-start his songwriting process.
The album has been given a Metacritic score of 81 out of 100 based on 31 reviews, indicating universal acclaim.
The album debuted at number 76 on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 11,000 copies in its first week. The album has sold over 100,000 copies by November 2008.
All tracks written by Andrew Bird, except where noted.
"Darkmatter" (An earlier version of this song, "Sweetbreads," appears on the album Fingerlings)
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