ANDREW BIRD'S 'BREAK IT YOURSELF' AND OTHER NEW RX RECOMMENDATIONS

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Last year, Andrew Bird contributed a cover of the Kermit the Frog classic “Bein’ Green” to a Muppets tribute album. Elsewhere, he partnered with sculptor and instrument maker Ian Schneller on a performance and installation involving speakers made from recycled newspapers and dryer lint. He follows the same definition of “quirky” that people use for Wes Anderson movies — his interests are idiosyncratic, to be sure, but somehow the definition feels too overreaching, like using Instagram and “hipster” in the same breath. (Bird, this week, actually used Instagram to promote the album, so, there you go.)

Bird’s seventh solo album, Break It Yourself, will likely set itself up for those dreaded descriptors, from the titles onward. There are references to Greek mythology, to horrible international tragedies. There’s a fake palindrome (how meta!). There is, per usual, quite a fair amount of whistling. It is, however, a bit more reserved than the earlier Birds (groan). Long gone are the rapturous flourishes of “Fake Palindromes” and even further the weird but awesome swing revival phase in which he participated as a Squirrel Nut Zipper. What we’re left with is a guy, with a violin, an embouchure of pure steel, and a set of sweet, gentle (though occasionally a bit too much so) jams that will come to you with good intentions. Break It Yourself greets its listener like a friend-turned-lover making the first move: sitting on opposite ends of the couch, inching closer and putting its arm around you and by the end, you’re curled up together, sleepy but overall content.Paste

OTHER NEW CD RECOMMENDATIONS:

Todd Snider Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables
The Magnetic Fields Love at the Bottom of the Sea
White Rabbits Milk Famous
Kaiser Chiefs Start the Revolution Without Me
Every Time I Die Ex Lives (deluxe edition also available)
Good Old War Come Back As Rain (Record Exchange in-store April 3!)
Micky and the Motorcars Live at Billy Bob’s Texas
Miniature Tigers Mia Pharaoh
Bowerbirds Clearing
Tim Fite Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t
Xiu Xiu Always
Rocco Deluca Drugs n’ Hymns

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