Andrew Bird - Noble Beast (3 stars)

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Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

(Bella Union)

ALT.POP

Crafted from hand claps, whistles, glockenspiels, violins, guitars and drums, this grower of an album from the intelligently eccentric Andrew Bird sneaks up on you after the third or fourth listen. The warm alt.pop melodies on Noble Beast purr rather than roar but after savouring the tongue-twistery lyrics and geeky, library-raiding wordplay, the lack of high octane thrills are made up for by swaying, wordy sing-a-longs. The sound of bright lights being shone from underneath a bushel, Chicago-born Bird’s multi-instrumental talents are given less baroquely rich arrangements than on 2007’s Armchair Apocrypha, but his smart, delicate style still sucks you in.

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