Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
Author: Monica Kendrick
01/17/2005 | Chicago Reader | Album Review
BRIGHT EYES You can't accuse Conor Oberst of being ungenerous to fans; from the lush booklet that came with Bright Eyes' Lifted (2002) to 2003's seven-LP box set, he's happily enabled the fetishism of his cult. On January 25 he's releasing two new Bright Eyes albums simultaneously through his Saddle Creek label: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, a country-inflected poetic-angst eruption, and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, a disc of largely electronic pop. The latter is better than you might think: its first single, "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)," has the sly sexual diffidence of a teenage Cure fan affecting a black-and-white-film swagger. This band has always left me a bit cold; though I'm starting to melt, I'll still point out that on tracks like "Burn Rubber" they sound like they're stealing out of Califone's garbage.