in Review

I Don’t Know Why They Call it a Pomegranate, But it Looks Like a Pomegranate.

Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

So many years of putting off Bright Eyes and once I finally become a fan they release their last album. Unfortunate yes, but what a note to go out on. Granted I haven’t heard the entire collected works of Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott, but from what I have heard I think this just might be my personal favorite, it may even be a tough one to beat for my favorite album of the year, yeah I’m serious.

From folk, to rock, to electronic, master songwriter and wordsmith Conor Oberst has taken on ever changing sound often tied together by no more than his own presence and aptitude for the written word. Always backed by his right man hand in producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis and wild card Nate Walcott, Bright Eyes has pounded out everything from folky protest songs to bittersweet ballads without missing a beat. Their music is intellectual, emotional, beautiful, and The People’s Key is no exception.

With The People’s Key we see this trio traversing more modern pop/rock terrain, but with a hint of introspective stoicism and ya know, other philosophical stuff. Thanks to the shaman-like musings of musician Denny Brewer, The People’s Key maybe the most colorful Bright Eyes record yet. Stories of extraterrestrials, spirituality, and life lessons intertwined with pleasing pop is a surprisingly effective method. Listening to rock music and an absent minded old man at the same time? Sign me up.

Some critics claim that The People’s Key lyrically pales in comparison to previous Bright Eyes works such as Lifted or I’m Wide Awake it’s Morning. Even if this is so, I wouldn’t let that fact cloud the fact that these are some of Conor’s best melodies. Musically The People’s Key is always innovative and exciting, so cut him some slack. I like Conor Oberst but those people that call him the “Next Dylan” should stop trying to label things and just enjoy the music. Hopefully the DaMorgue crew can nab tickets for the Bright Eyes/Death Cab show in Bend, Oregon this May. Though we better hurry, if we don’t it looks like were going to Minneapolis.

Favorite Tracks: “Approximate Sunlight”, “Shell Games”, “Triple Spiral”

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