From "Oh No" on, Bird's thoughtful composition builds into the textured landscape that is Noble Beast. To compose is to create, build, assemble, synthesize--to make something new out of various parts that weren't there before. Here, Bird's toolbox is made up of familiar pieces--violin loops, acoustic guitar, whistling, minimal percussion, dreamlike lyrics--but the composition is windier, grassier and brighter than Bird's previous solo albums.
The dramatics are subdued, the dreams more fluid. Mostly acoustic instruments, and the occasional African or Latin rhythm, make the album feel more natural, less contained--more English garden than French. Take the mournful acoustic guitar and plucked violin on "Natural Disaster" that help to examine all of the things that can be described as a natural disaster, like "a wolf with a lung disease," or the layers of decaying matter on the forest floor.
One could write a dissertation about Noble Beast. As a composition, it is as complex and gorgeous as a George Eliot novel.