Andrew Bird weaves deep pop melodies in new album

Clara Bartlett

Besides being a whistling virtuoso and a lyrical genius, Andrew Bird is capable of taking a song that begins as a simple melody and weaving it into something incredibly complex and beautiful.

With his new album Break It Yourself, including a song featuring St. Vincent, Bird doesn’t disappoint. All the staples of his style are there: the pizzicato violin plucking, the whistling interjections and the obtuse, borderline dark lyrics.

Since he started his solo career 10 years ago, Andrew Bird’s music hasn’t strayed from his roots and unique chamber pop style; as a body, his work has been relatively consistent.

But in listening to each of his individual albums, one develops the sense of looking at his music through different panes of colored glass. Noble Beast was bright and yellow, sunny and happy-go-lucky. Mysterious Production of Eggs was dark-tinted, weird, warped and hard to see through.

In his recent 2012 album, Break It Yourself, Andrew Bird erects a window that utilizes a full spectrum of the colors used in his previous albums, further saturating these colors to create a slight variation on his past musical body of work.

Overall, the album feels like a means of catharsis for Bird. His lyrics often taste of bitterness, with lines such as “You’re the one who sank my Lusitania / but somehow it don’t register as pain at all.” Despite the gloomy messages of some of his songs, the music itself is more upbeat than it has been on previous albums.

Yes, Break It Yourself might be more of the same from Andrew Bird. But if the same is evocative lyrics dripping with mystery mixed with intricate, layered and melodic lines, then why complain? This latest album doesn’t disappoint.