9.You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son [Redux]
10.Cancerboy Strikes Again / Monsterstream
11.Rabid Bits of Time
12.Build Up to the Fall
13.Epic Sigh / The Python Connection
16.Afterspeak / Things Come to a Head
Audio Mixers: Neil Strauch; David Boucher.
Recording information: Engine Studios, Chicago, IL; The Cutting Room Studios, New York, NY.
Inventive violinist/whistler/indie pop singer/songwriter Andrew Bird's first foray into film music doesn't stray too far from the Chicago-based artist's solo output, as he's been dealing out heavily layered, pastoral slabs of cinematic atmosphere since he first arrived on the scene in the late 1990s. Scoring Norman, an independent coming-of-age teen drama directed by Jonathan Segal, could have been an exercise in soul crushing melancholy, and while there is enough of that here to fill a bucket or two with string-induced tears, Bird knows when to pick up the pieces, put your sack on your back, and whistle your way back home. With the exception of an amiable pair of new originals and a cut from 2009's Noble Beast, Bird's contributions are primarily instrumental. Elsewhere, the Blow and Richard Swift offer up a ramshackle take on ABBA's "S.O.S.," Chad VanGaalen provides the stoic "Rabid Bits of Time" from 2008's Soft Airplane, and Wolf Parade downplays the histrionics of 2005's "You Are a Runner and I am My Father's Son" with a "redux" version that's as spooky as it is subdued. ~ James Christopher Monger