Review: Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Andrew Bird
Break It Yourself
Mom+Pop

While there is nothing really new here, Break It Yourself is Andrew’s best collection of music in a while. Gone are the self-indulgent lyrical puns to be replaced by some of Bird’s most biting relationship exploration. Instead of over-the-top hurt though, he spends many songs trying to figure out the reasons behind the hurtful actions. Songs like the beautiful “Lazy Projector” use movie analogies to query why he’s even going through a breakup especially since the projector is a “forgetting, embellishing, lying machine.” Even the title of the album is a slam as he tells the other person how cold and manipulating they are in “Eyeoneye,” “No one can break your heart/So you break it yourself.” Thankfully, all this soul searching is set to some of Bird’s best melodies in a few years especially the life-affirming “Near Death Experience Experience.” Set to a bouncy violin plucking, the song explores how fragile are the ones who claim to be strong and how celebratory anyone can be when surviving a life-changing scenario. When he gets to the “And we’ll dance like cancer survivors,” the relief is palpable and will elicit singing along. It’s nice to hear Bird put aside the intellectualism and record an album that feels.

“Eyeoneye”

“Give It Away”

 

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