Even as local music gadfly Marcus Rubio's latest album satisfies my longing for pre-2000s Bright Eyes, it ranges across a breathtakingly broad spectrum of musical flavors. Neurotic songs about being disappointed by peers, seeing the living menace in everyday objects (maybe love), and tongue-in-cheek self-appraisal are wrapped neatly in sugary yet exploratory indie-pop packages. None of the Birds is disillusionment that you can sway, dance, and hum to; it's personal and universal at once. Just try to choose favorites between the seething title track, California-dreamer "Boss Vegas," laptop hoedown "Alcibades," and contrapuntally driven daydream "Song of Yourself." Then give up and play the whole thing (available at marcusrubio.bandcamp.com).
★★★★ (out of 5 stars)