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Andrew Bird, 'Atomized'

Andrew Bird transports listeners to a lush musical world. Highlighted by his uniquely distorted pizzicato violin, pitch-perfect whistling and distinctively erudite lyrics, "Atomized" finds Bird ruminating on a line from Joan Didion's 1968 essay collection Slouching Towards Bethlehem: "It was the first time I had dealt directly and flatly with the evidence of atomization, the proof that things fall apart." Bird responds to the illusion of the promised American dream: "They'll demagnetize your poles / And you know they're going to try to delete you / So now you're atomized / Unwhole." In the brilliantly monochrome video directed by Matthew Daniel Siskin, Bird's mind gradually decouples from his body.

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Eric Teel