Steven Chen
February 07, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Versed in a wealth of forms (from swing to Appalachian folk) and instruments (from the violin to the glockenspiel), Andrew Bird offers a shapely, mesmerizing CD as inventive as it is rooted in musical lore. ”A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left,” for example, lays country whimsy and a touch of rock on a lush bed of strings. It’s just one of the high-lights of The Mysterious Production of Eggs, which peaks again and again, each time divulging something distinctly astounding or just plain beautiful.

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