Break It Yourself - MOM + POP
FILTER Grade: 90%
By Jeffrey Brown on March 6, 2012
Andrew Bird’s latest fulfills two expectations for any album of his: it’s very much him (violins, whistling, soulful vocals and thoughtful turns of phrase) and it’s also not quite the same-old, same-old. On Break It Yourself, the production is stripped-down compared to Bird’s two most recent albums, reflecting Break It’s process of a live band recorded on 8-track. For as much as this collection of songs feels like a band getting together to jam for fun, Break It also feels like one of the more cohesive albums in Bird’s oeuvre; there’s a perfect placement of a few shorter instrumental tracks amongst the songs that ebb, flow, build and release in just the right way. On first glance and listen, there’s a thematic consistency—water and death—but the album isn’t macabre or melancholic, it’s actually rather joyful, and that’s exactly where its beauty lies.