Saddle Creek | Bright Eyes | Reviews


Letting off the Happiness

Author: Daniel Reed
12/01/1999 | Rocket Fuel Online | | Album Review
Classifications from a review mean shit, which is exactly why I'm going to classify Bright Eyes as country art. Taking many of its cues from country music, with its twangy acoustic guitars, slide guitars, and minimalist approach to many of its songs, Bright Eyes produces some amazingly gorgeous music. The flipside, which gives it the "art" portion of the classification I used above, makes use of many outside items such as samples and keyboards. They are often used as additions to the song and are in no way a defining point for them. They create an interesting sound to some very basic tracks from time to time.

Most notably, the "country art" is quite evident on "Contrast and Compare," which I like to think of as the first industrial country song. "Padraic my Prince" uses keyboards, otherwise sounding like a stripped down Lullaby For The Working Class song. "Touch" makes a departure from the country sound, becoming solely an electronic song. Utilizing such
tools as a drum machine and broken keyboards, they manage to layer sounds and still create a melodic song.

There are many other moments on this album where the "country art" is heavily noticable, but I will refrain from pointing them out. Bright Eyes is very much like Lullaby For The Working Class playing with The Violent Femmes on a semi-trailer that came from a keyboard manufacturer.

I believe Bright Eyes is only one person, with a bunch of random friends helping out in different fashions. This CD even contains a listing of every song and who helped out on them. It enables you to listen to the songs and pick out who did what, and also what the heck those strange sounds are that you hear. Definitely something different, and something very, very cool.