Spring Break of the Soul (Pau Wau)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., April 12, 2013
Bill BairdSpring Break of the Soul (Pau Wau)
Bill Baird swims in his own ocean of shattered analog pop, tides that envelop in invitingly warm melodies and crash with sudden disorienting intensity. The local pop-savant lulls the listener out to sea, adrift and anchorless, clinging to the slightest hook as he constructs a Prospero-like world amid the tempest. New double LP Spring Break of the Soul, complete with a 32-page scrapbook, may be the former Sound Team member's most ambitious work yet, its title track leading a percussive chant as prologue, followed by a cover of Christopher Cross' "Sailing" so ethereal that it threatens to float away. The sax blast of "World Gone Deaf" sways easily as Baird eschews the world around him (see also "Lost at Sea," "Blob," "Go to Mexico"), but moments like the bizarrely aggressive "Bow Down to the Brain" break any developing charm. Baird builds constantly compelling escapes, but it's not a paradise for the faint of heart.