Andrew Bird is a singer-songwriter hailing from Chicago who has been recording and releasing music since the mid-90s. In 2012, when Break It Yourself was released, his extensive discography included near-great albums such as Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs, Armchair Apocrypha, and Weather Systems. Here, Andrew Bird returns with another solid album full of chamber pop music.
This album opens with one of the darkest tracks on the album, “Desperation Breeds…”. Bird might be referencing the environmental destruction of the 21st century with lyrics about the decline of the bee population and deforestation. As the world swiftly modernizes, Bird maintains an ethos of organic instrumentation featuring guitars, ukuleles, strings, and most importantly, his trademark whistles which make an appearance on almost every track.
Break It Yourself reminds me of early springtime as it pumps out track after track of warm acoustic music. The lyrics on here often reference rebirth and renewal. On “Near Death Experience Experience”, Bird sings “And we’ll dance like cancer survivors / Like we’re grateful simply to be alive“.
Like his folk contemporary Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird laces his songs with historical references. He references the Lusitania, the sinking of the USS Maine, Pyramus, and Apollo.
Scott’s Spectacular Song Selections include: “Desperation Breeds…”, “Danse Caribe”, “Eyeoneye”, “Near Death Experience Experience”, “Lusitania”, “Fatal Shore”, and “Hole in the Ocean Floor”.
With Break It Yourself, Andrew Bird continues his long history of good albums. Listen to this one.