andrew bird is one busy man. a multi-tasking, multi-talented and multi-instrumental genius, he seems constantly on the move. since the release of his highly acclaimed 2007 album 'armchair apocrypha', bird has been all over the place. quite literally, as well as musically. the album is delicate, sonically ambitious and fecund (fourteen impeccable tunes in total). recorded variously in nashville with mark nevers (lambchop et al) and at the wilco loft in chicago, kindly loaned out by jeff tweedy after the bird toured with wilco in 2007. as a whole, 'noble beast' is perhaps a return to bird's less flamboyant style. more in tune with earlier recordings such as 'weather systems', it is a musical spread. but even with such differences between tracks, the warm, inviting sound of andrew bird is still unmistakable and always with an innately addictive, sing-a-long nature and highly individual vocal phrasing. with not enough space to do the beautiful intricacy of the album justice, suffice to say 'noble beast' is another triumph and should be listened to with the considered time and care it demands.