Andrew Bird’s Lyrics Take Flight

31 Jan

I was listening yesterday to Andrew Bird’s “Break It Again CD. Yes, I know it was released last March, but I often come back to great indie albums after an initial period and discover even more amazing things. This is one of those. Melodically, it’s magic — with layers of Bird’s violin and fiddle playing, guitars, and yes — his trademark whistling — creating a lush environment with the help of his band members. But it’s his choice of subjects and his insightful lyrics that have captivated me this second time around.

In “Lazy Projector,” he muses about our perception of experience and how it plays on our relationships. If memory serves us, then who owns the master? How do we know who’s projecting the reel? And is it like gruel or like quick-drying plaster — tell me how long ‘til the paint starts to peel?

In “Danse Caribe,” Bird remarks, Here we go mistaking clouds for mountains, which makes me think about how people sometimes see passing worries as immovable obstacles. Lusitania equates the fated ocean liner with similarly fated relationships. If your loose and libel lips you keep sinking all my ships, then you’re the one who sank my Lusitania…you laid mines along your shore, through my hull they ripped and tore, we don’t study this war no more.

Sometimes Bird is lyrical, as in “Sifters” where the moon plays the ocean like a violin, and sometimes he contemplates heavier subjects as he does in “Near Death Experience Experience.” But his poetry is always compelling, providing plenty to ponder as the music washes over you and carries you away. Give the CD another spin or two this week.

Andrew Bird


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