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Break It Yourself

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2012 release, the sixth album from the Chicago-based singer/songwriter. Break It Yourself is the follow-up to his critically successful albums Noble Beast and Armchair Apocrypha. Features the single 'Eyeoneye'.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: March 6, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MOM & POP MUSIC
  • ASIN: B006WWTJJ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,456 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Andrew Bird Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
My friends had been telling me for a while that I needed to get into Andrew Bird--and I'm glad I made the plunge with this album. To be honest, I was expecting something more along the lines of Bon Iver or like Mumford & Sons but this album was a pleasant surprise. It's much more varied and nuanced than a lot of popular bands in the folk/indie/pop category---no doubt thanks in large part to how talented Bird is and how long he's been doing this.

Bird doesn't make the mistake of having a pretty but one note album. "Eyeoneye" could have been a lost R.E.M. track while "Hole In the Ocean Floor" would fit beautifully as a movie score. Overall though, whether he's focusing more on the instrumentals or singing--there's still a general vibe of relaxed calmness. The music simply makes me chill and happy.

What I really appreciate about the music is how organic it feels--it doesn't sound as much as musicians playing from sheet music as a bunch of wildly talented musicians having a jam session which gives it a unique sound.

Obviously as this is my first foray into Bird's music, I can't tell how this compares to his past work--but I know that for me, this album definitely works and I would be very surprised if long time Bird fans were disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
Andrew Bird is a fussy one. He makes music that sounds like it was painstakingly composed, recorded and mixed. Notes are meticulously plucked upon his violin. Every whistle is precisely blown through perfectly puckered lips. Every beat, nuance and mood has it's place. Every song is fussed over till it's just right. This has been Andrew Bird's modus operandi ever since the first Bowl of Fire release Thrills, in 1998. With his newest effort, the breezy and beautiful Break It Yourself, Mr. Bird has left fussy outside the barn door and let the songs take us where they may.

`Desperation Breeds' starts the album off with reverbed harmonies, as if ghosts from the past are beckoning us to enter. Then plucked acoustics and Bird's nuanced croon takes us by the hand and into this new world he's created. After the short but sweet instrumental `Polynation', Andrew Bird takes us into the beautiful world of `Danse Caribe'. Easily one of Andrew Bird's best tracks to date. The loose, free and collaborative vibe Bird was going for on this new album does this track justice. `Danse Caribe' floats in our ear and takes us to a sandy, warm place. With it's caribbean vibe and floating rhythm, "You go mistaking clouds for mountains", says the whistling man with the violin. Indeed. 'Give It Away' is reminiscent of something off of his 2001 effort Swimming Hour. A mid song rhythm shift gives this track a nice change of scenery. `Eyeoneye' is like The Walkman's `The Rat' recorded by the Punch Brothers, at first. With heavily-reverbed electric guitar and an almost angsty tone to Bird's voice(well, as angsty as Andrew Bird can get), this is the most straightforward rock song on the album, possibly of his career to date. A great slab of indie rock goodness.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Bird constantly impresses with his genius imagination, his incorporation of his influences into a synthesis that is something new. Jangly guitars, Brian Wilson like choral touches, that wonderful whistling, and his heart on his sleeve lyrics are all here, and it feels a little more personal this time. Not so much like he is confessing to you, but it feels very intimate, like he is playing for a few friends. For me, there are not any weak tracks on this album, which is a hard feat to pull off; standouts include "Eyeoneye", which sounds like an REM and Roy Orbison collaboration, in a really good way; also "Danse Caribe" and "Belles", but frankly, the entire affair is exactly what I had hoped from Bird. His creative genius, set down for us on record, tuneful and intelligent, well played, friendly, a little sad at times, and balanced with more than a little cheer. Great job and a great record.
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By Erin on June 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I discovered Andrew Bird a few years ago after seeing a stream of a live performance. I was kind of hooked, and ever since then, I've gotten my hands on almost anything that I can find.

Of course, when I heard he had a new album, I ordered it. I was a little bit concerned before I got it, because a few critics had warned that it took a few listens to really start to enjoy it. However, the first time that I listened to it, I loved it.

Favorites:
Lazy Projector
Near Death Experience Experience
Sifters
Hole in the Ocean Floor

...And of course, the short interludes that have made their appearance between songs are simply beautiful. My boyfriend and I also saw Mr. Bird and his band perform some of these songs live, and I promise that they're even more powerful in person.

I am madly in love with this album.
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Obviously I am a big fan of Andrew Bird. I pre-ordered the album, and have listened to it twice so far.

That being said, it is a great album. Where Noble Beast seemed a little muted and orchestral (sometimes even sounding akin to Beck), this album seems more along the lines of Armchair Apocrypha. I found my toe tapping numerous times.

It is not as sing-able as Mysterious Production of Eggs, but this is a different animal in many ways.

Break it Yourself is more mature, each element of the song seems to fit better, from a strong beat, to the violin, he even seems more confident in his vocals here than he has ever been before.

This album definitely seems to be a culmination of all of his previous work. As always, Andrew Bird makes music unlike anything I have heard before, and this new album is truly a masterpiece.
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