It used to be easy to write off Bright Eyes and, by extension, all things Conor Oberst several years ago. Not only were his music and lyrics very cloying in that way that terribly cloying, sophomoric, serious, music tries to be, but he was being championed by the most annoying people
alive. But things can change. A close friendwho himself is neither emo nor a punk-ass bitchsuccessfully cajoled me into giving last year’s Cassadaga
a chance, and surprised as I was, it’s good. The music is recorded and produced elegantly, which was unexpected from such lo-fi scenesters. The lyrics, too, are significantly better, focusing on a town of spiritual mediums and the mysterious strangeness they summon, and not, say, lovers Oberst doesn’t have to love (blargh
). Anyway, his new self-titled, solo album promises to follow more in the steps of his band’s more recent work, though a bit more old-timey. And the lyrics are much better, too.