Portraits & Walls

spread joy, spread music

The Week’s Release: 3/5-3/11

The past week was host to a number of album releases, here’s a recap of a few, including albums from Andrew Bird, Bowerbirds, Good Old War, Miniature Tigers, Mona, Now, Now, and Yellow Ostrich as well as an EP from MMOTHS.

Break It Yourself by Andrew Bird

Born and raised Chicagoan, Andrew Bird, is singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist began learning the violin when he was four. Releasing his début album,  Music of Hair, the same year that he graduated from Northwestern University, Bird has released seven solo albums. Bird’s solo career was the result of a his band’s, Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire,  inability to open at venue in Chicago.  With his band mates unable to perform, Bird took the stage on his own; his success prompted him to pursue a solo career.

Chalk full of string plucking, polyrhythms and Bird’s signature whistling, Break It Yourself is what we’ve come to expect from Bird. Ending with what sounds like controlled wind chimes and crickets, the album fades off and leaves you with a satisfactory conclusion: 7.75/10

What the Critics Say:  Metacritic gave Break It Yourself a score of 79 indicating generally favorable reviews.

The end result then, is the sound of Bird settling down, becoming comfortable with his music and letting it come off as natural, without losing the sense of enjoyment and the hypnotic dynamism of his core elements”  – Ray Finlayson of Beats Per Minute (79%)

Stepping back from the throes of this umbilical soul-searching, Break It Yourself is Bird’s most consistent work to date. By playing it straight and singing it even straighter, he’s created an intensely listenable and emotional album that’s impossible not to relate to” – Billy Hamilton of Drowned in Sound

The emotional urgency energizes his fluid multi-instrumental elocution and learned metaphors; sometimes it sounds like he’s burning an effigy of his ex in the quad at iTunes U” – Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone (3.5/5)

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