Sound — 10
Bird By Bird is a Bay Area band birthed by Jonathan Devoto, guitarist of The Matches. Taking a lead role during the band's hiatus, Devoto has departed from the art rock style of The Matches and made some of the most easily accessible rock music ever heard. The sound is clean and family friendly for new listeners, and has some great guitar work to please the people like us. The whole album is well produced and sounds great.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are well written and catchy, though not about how a girl broke your heart or following your dreams. "While You Sleep" is an album about the simple pleasures of life. The first track, "Simple Days" is a song that opens with a line that sets the tone lyrically for the entire album, "We remember those simple days/When we were trading grade school lunches". That's what you can expect from this album, songs about growing up, being nervous around girls, and how much fun it is to dream. One big exception to this formula though would be "Let Go", a song that seems to be about embracing our mortality. While this song may not fit in with the album as well as the others lyrically, it still manages to be one of the best musically.
Overall Impression — 9
Bird By Bird is a standout 2-man band (yes it's all done by 2 guys) that has proven in just two releases that it has the chops to stand aside more popular and more mainstream rock bands. Jon Devoto and drummer Ross Traver deliver a high quality album with music that will keep you entertained for a long while. If you're a fan of great guitar work and catchy choruses, check it out, or go listen to their 5-song EP "Albatross". However, if you're the dark, brooding type looking for depressing lyrics and tone, feel free to look somewhere else.