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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Break it yourself

Published: March 9, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc.

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird’s newest album, “Break It Yourself” does not fail to meet the already astronomical standards set by his previous albums. Textured and complex, Bird’s new work manages to stay away from saccharine shoe-gazing or melancholic ballads that were popular this year from other folk-pop artists. The songs are meticulously composed and performed, with an eye for poetry and obvious skill. Former violinist of The Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Chicago-based musician already has nearly a dozen albums.
“Break It Yourself” maintains Bird’s longstanding vibrato whistling and masterful violin, but is more mainstream in its guitar and vocal patterns than his previous albums. While more largely accessible, Bird does not lose himself to any radio hits. The spinning speakers and complexly rhythmed rhymes pull the listener into the hallucinogenic, ethereal world of Bird. He still experiments and his experiments are successful.