By Rob Brunner
Updated March 16, 2007 04:00 AM

Andrew Bird used to play with hot-jazz revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers, and he’s an accomplished violinist and — seriously! — whistler. If that makes him sound a little too kooky, you might be surprised by his new album, a set of low-key, carefully arranged rock songs with sneaky melodies, mumbly vocals, and only the most tasteful of quirky flourishes (his whistling in ”Cataracts” is downright lovely). Occasionally he overreaches, as on the Jeff Buckley-ish ”Armchairs,” but when Bird keeps things simple, Armchair Apocrypha is full of modest charms. B+