A long hike through the folds in Andrew Bird's brain is what you sign up for when you play one of his albums. He's been wandering that path since 2003's Weather Systems, when he retired his former band, the Bowl of Fire, and moved to Western Illinois to live with his thoughts on an old farm. On his new album, Noble Beast, Bird can sometimes seem too far inside his own head. And he also appears aware of it, addressing that solitude on "Effigy": "When one has spent too much time alone..." He doesn't answer with another lyric-- perhaps he doesn't have an answer. Instead, he lets you fill in the blank while he reels off a pretty, rustic violin figure.