Monday, June 13, 2011

Album Review: Bright Eyes - The People's Key

I knew I had a challenge ahead of me when I tried to introduce Bright Eyes' latest (and hopefully not last*) album to a friend of mine.

You see, the album starts with some fervent proselytising from a religious nut and I had to explain that said nut was not part of the band but merely some found library snippet intended only as an atmospheric setting...
(Insert disclaimer sticker here...)
It's quite possible this particular hurdle proved too much for my friend and I suspect, a bigger majority of listeners which accounts for the album's totally undeserved mixed reception.
Or perhaps it's the band's departure from rootsy Americana which alienated some fans?
Connor Oberst was voted Best Songwriter by Rolling Stone in 2008. Being the consummate storyteller, his bittersweet yet insightful lyrics observes the gamut of the human condition.

While the album may toy with some Rastafarian concept, Oberst himself has personally expressed disappointment in the narrow-mindedness of major religions, and is fascinated and frustrated by "eternal" concepts.

* Connor considered retiring the Bright Eyes moniker with this album, which is an absolute shame since his solo venture and his stint in supergroup Monsters of Folk only saw the potency of his lyrics diluted.

Listen up, People!  8.8/10

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