Andrew Bird has already had a busy 2012, going on tour after releasing his sixth studio album “Break It Yourself.” Bird is not finished though, as he is releasing another album this year.
Bird released an eight-track companion album to “Break It Yourself” Tuesday, titled “Hands of Glory.” The album sees Bird covering some classic folk tunes as well as performing some original compositions.
The album was recorded using just one microphone in a barn and a church, with Bird and company huddling around to record. The album features Bird’s signature mix of traditional folk and pop rock, showcasing his brilliant violin work.
“Three White Horses” opens the album with a slow deep bass line while some guitar meanders in and out as the artist showcases his sweet voice. Bird sings “there’ll be three white horses / when you go on that way / you will need somebody when you come to die.”
“Spirograph” starts off slow with Bird singing, “echoes down water wells / picked up in sacred spirographs / weekend and winters and end able bendable baby.” The track picks up speed about a minute in when the drums come in. The folksy track is catchy.
Bird covers the song “Railroad Bill,” which is about an Alabama man in the late 1800s, who robbed trains and eluded the law for several years. Bird does not do anything drastically different to the song, opting instead for a straightforward cover.
“If I Needed You” is another cover of the Townes Van Zandt song. The singer plays a slow twangy guitar as his voice warbles. Bird sings in a distinctly more southern voice, “you will miss sunrise if you close your eyes / that would break my heart in two.”
Album closer “Beyond the Valley of the Three White Horses” is a nine-minute epic that is as amazing as its title would imply. The song finds Bird playing a beautiful string arrangement on violin over a repeating guitar piece. The song is slow and drawn out, but one of the prettiest sounding tracks on the album, making it an excellent closer.
“Hands of Glory” is the next in line of quality releases from Andrew Bird. The shortness of the album makes for an easy listen, though its brevity also makes it feel a little shortchanged. Overall, it is a release fans will appreciate, as Bird showcases his musical talents by covering a lot of traditional folk songs.
Also out this week:
Meek Mill — “Dreams & Nightmares”
Philadelphia rapper Robert Williams, a.k.a. Meek Mill, has been making waves in the rap world since 2007 with the release of his mix tape “Flamerz 1.” Meek Mill signed to Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group in 2011 and was featured on the collaborative album “Self Made Vol. 1.”
Meek Mill is finally releasing his debut album “Dreams & Nightmares” this week. The fact that this is Meek Mill’s first studio release seems a bit strange considering how long he has been recognized nationally, but the album has received praise from many, including Will Smith and Desean Jackson.
Cee-Lo Green — “Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment”
Former-Goodie Mob member Cee-Lo Green continues to move along his solo pop career, releasing his fourth solo album, “Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment,” this week. Green becomes the latest of pop stars to release a Christmas themed album, where he sings songs such as “White Christmas” and “Run Rudolph Run.”
The album cover shows Green riding in a red convertible as Santa, being pulled by three white horses. Green promises to bring all the charm and character fans fell in love with on his breakout song “Forget You.”