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Clem Snide: Hungry Bird

Eef Barzelay decided to ditch the Clem Snide moniker last year, after more than 15 years of rotating lineups. But he left some unfinished business, namely Hungry Bird, an ambitious album begun in 2006, but eventually scrapped in favor of solo material—and left for dead when Barzelay announced Clem Snide’s end. But a change of heart has resurrected both the pretty, strange disc and the band itself. Hungry Bird doesn’t diverge massively from what fans will expect: It’s sonically a little plusher than Barzelay’s solo discs, especially the tinkling, gorgeous “Born A Man” and “Pray,” a desperate mini-epic that practically begs for a sing-along. (“Pray for the non-believer,” emotes the beautifully cynical Barzelay.) Only the spoken-word guest slot from Pulitzer-winning poet Franz Wright (on “Encounter At 3am”) seems out of place, and only at first: Fully digested, Hungry Bird succeeds as a grand epitaph and a birth announcement.


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