Reviews

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Author: Kevin O'Hare
01/04/2006 | Springfield Republican | www.masslive.com | Feature
Top 10 of 2005
6. Bright Eyes, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning," (Saddle Creek)

Conor Oberst didn't ask for all the fawning, and he even stuck with his own small indie label when he could have easily landed on one of the majors. But the star-making machine's been working overtime anyway in crowning the 24-year-old songwriter behind the Nebraska-based Bright Eyes as pop's new savior.

That's flat-out ridiculous, but Oberst is one of the better lyric writers to emerge in a long while, and that's evident when he introduces this album's first song, "At the Bottom of Everything," by setting it up as a tale about a plane crash. It's far more than just that, as can be reflected by lines like, "While my mother waters plants my father loads his gun/He says death will give us back to God, just like the setting sun is returned to the lonesome ocean."

Bright Eyes gets some welcome help from the great Emmylou Harris on several tracks. And when the band opens up, as in the rave-up "Another Travelin' Song," or the stinging, screaming anti-war saga "Road to Joy," it's almost worth believing that this time the hype machine just might be onto something.


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