Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bright Eyes - The People's Key

As many Conor Oberst fanatics have heard, Bright Eyes are releasing their latest studio album, titled The People’s Key on the 15th (although it has been streaming online on NPR for several weeks already).

Conor Oberst is one of the celebrities of the underground music industry. His unique half-whining voice, sensitive contemporary American poetic lyrics, and wide variety of sounds and influences throughout his career have resulted in a cult-like following of eager fans as well as the rise to fame of the Saddle Creek record label. The almost four year hiatus of Bright Eyes would seem like a long time to leave faithful Oberst fans on the side of their seats, but thankfully for the Bright Eyes-deprived there was plenty Oberst to go around with his side projects, Monster’s of Folk and Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band.

Bright Eyes’ latest album reflects less of the acoustic singer-songwriter and minimal lo-fi sound familiar in more signature albums like Fevers and Mirrors and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, and more of Oberst’s latest “more mature” indie rock sounds that are common in his recent side projects.

A mysterious philosophical monologue by Randy Brewer kicks off the new record (quite fitting for an NPR streamed album), which eventually erupsts into an epic marching-band riff. The standout tracks include the post-punk influenced “Jejune Stars”, the catchy “Haile Selassie”, and more traditional Oberst track “Beginner’s Mind”. To nostalgic Oberst fans: listen to the album with an open mind and don’t expect to hear the melodramatic vocals over the lo-fi acoustic guitar twang of tracks like “Lua” and “Sunrise Sunset”

By Max Hasan

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