Andrew Bird album review

Break It Yourself

Break It Yourself

Even the most cursory glance at Bird’s career is enough to give a person productivity anxiety: three albums as Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire, six solo records, live releases, countless lend-a-hand appearances on other artists’ songs, a collaboration with a sculptor for the Guggenheim… and a baby! When Bird was four, was he playing in a sandbox? Gosh, no – he was learning the violin. Thanks a bunch, Andrew blooming Bird. We jest, of course. His gorgeous baroque pop proves a terrific tonic for any what-on-earth-have-I-done-lately angst. Particularly ‘Lazy Projector’ with its soothing whistles, or the soulful skiffle-noir of ‘Near Death Experience Experience’. Amid the back-porch intimacy of ‘Sifters’, Bird wonders what would’ve happened if he and his lover had been born an inappropriate number of years apart (‘What if you were 75 and I were 9?’). Annie Clark (St Vincent) hops on board for sparkling duet ‘Lusitania’ and ‘Desperation Breeds…’ showcases Bird’s violin dexterity, with vocals somewhere between Ryan Adams at his most mellow, Rufus Wainwright and Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold. At 14 tracks, it’s a lot to take in, but inspiring nonetheless.

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