For years I wrote off Bright Eyes as just pouty emo schlock. I listened to Fevers and Mirrors way back in 2001 and really hated it. So that was it. Then, I heard him interviewed about his new album, Cassadaga, on All Songs Considered and was, well, impressed. I also really enjoyed the tracks that were played. A definite country/folksy vibe marked by some really excellent playing. And, best of all, no whining!
Then, while checking out the Saddle Creek website I saw that Cassadaga was on sale at Target for $7.89. I, of course, had no excuse not to get it and I haven't been disappointed. Sonically, it's really great. The instrumentation, lots of strings and woodwinds, is very beautiful. Sometimes lyrically it isn't very concise, I guess. And, from the reviews I've read that seems to be the critics' biggest complaint. Of course, this is usually followed by some snarky comment about how Conor Oberst hasn't lived up to being "The Next Dylan". But, no one's gonna be the next Dylan. That's why Dylan's, well, Dylan. Either way, he's the closest anyone of this generation has gotten so far.
Essential Tracks: Four Winds, Coat Check Dream Song, Middleman