Break It Yourself

Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2012 Ratings: #83 / 1032
User Score
Based on 80 ratings
2012 Ratings: #44
Liked by 1 person
March 6, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mom + Pop / Label / Website
Sign In to rate and review


A.V. Club

A beautifully free-flowing set of tunes that soar and waft like a flock of starlings, building to a quietly epic mood that is too ruminative and introspective to suffer from grandiosity. 

No Ripcord

When the sun shines outside, I challenge you to listen to Break It Yourself and not smile.


Above all, Andrew Bird is a highly skilled musician capable of crafting an album full of delightful little moments that make the album worth a fair listen, and more.

Drowned in Sound

By playing it straight and singing it even straighter, he’s created an intensely listenable and emotional album that’s impossible not to relate to.


Disparate and idiosyncratic yet still unified and every day, Break It Yourself is a record which is beguilingly simple but retains and recasts Bird’s signature complexity.

Beats Per Minute

There’s an avid attention to detail, small instrumental tracks, and a wry, almost deprecated sense of humour at points.


It all amounts to a constructed world that sounds outré at first but winds up being a startlingly astute reflection of our own as you settle into it.

The 405

It represents a further fleshing out of ideas more recently explored in the career of a well recognized songwriter.

Under The Radar

Break It Yourself often plays like being front row at the world's most engaging hootenanny.

Consequence of Sound

The hooks don’t quite sink in as far as some of those on past records, and the diversity doesn’t quite match either, but the depth of the intelligent, philosophic experience grows after each listen.


An album with a solid first half, that restores the energy and vitality of Bird’s musical vision, and then slowly and steadily leaches that energy back out of it.

My favourite of the three Andrew Bird albums I've heard so far - I'm finally starting to understand what the fuss is about.

This expansive folk has a natural ebb and flow to it, with well worked in chamber orchestral detours.
Has Andrew Bird ever failed to deliver on a straight-up LP of original material? I'd argue no. It's not that different from Noble Beast but he does this sort of thing so well. Break It Yourself is generously paced and leans on his introspective side, but it's so inviting and melodic that it remains accessible.
This album is a great progression of Bird's sound. The band adds that additional layer that was missing before but wasn't always necessary.
Purchasing Break It Yourself from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Year End Lists

#20/American Songwriter

Track List

  1. Desperation Breeds… 
  2. Polynation 
  3. Danse Caribe 
  4. Give it Away 
  5. Eyeoneye 
  6. Lazy Projector
  7. Near Death Experience Experience 
  8. Behind the Barn 
  9. Lusitania 
  10. Orpheo Looks Back 
  11. Sifters 
  12. Fatal Shore 
  13. Hole in the Ocean Floor 
  14. Belles
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: December 6, 2011