Reviews

Fevers and Mirrors

Author: nathan altice
05/01/2000 | Summer Salts | www.summersalts.com | Album Review
As strange as it may sound, as a reviewer, it is sometimes difficult to review an album as great as Fevers and Mirrors. Often, bands such as Bright Eyes are very difficult to classify. There are no easy comparisons or convenient genres to put
them in. Still, you want to convey the sound of the album in words, explain why you think it's so great. First off, music-wise, this album is a lot less melancholy than their EP Every Day and Every Night. Not to say that this is upbeat - it's not - it's just that the songs have an uplifting spirit to them. They make you feel good when you sing along, despite the lyrical subject matter. The instrumentation adds a great deal to this. "A Scale, A Mirror, and Those Indifferent Clocks" and "Something Vague" have beautiful flute lines. Pedal steel is prevalent on several songs, including "Arienette" and "Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh," an amazing sing-along that is nearly gospel-worthy with its amazing backing harmonies. "The Calendar Hung Itself" jaunts along steadily to a skewed samba rhythm accompanied by tasteful electronics, while "The Movement of a Hand" treads comfortably alongside the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" with its delicate touches of piano and mellotron. Lyrically, Conor Oberst fails to disappoint, painting chilly portraits of depression, suburban loneliness, and lost love, complimented well by his wavering vocals (set on "permanent vibrato"). At one moment, his melodies are subtle and understated. At others, his voice leaps forth to a straining scream to compliment an instrumental crescendo. Top off the stellar songwriting with a warm, comfortable recording style, lots of lyrics, and some creative packaging (with a reflective "mirror" on the cover and the CD) and you end up with an amazing album.
Plus: a bizarre interview after "An Attempt to Tip the Scales"
Minus: anyone who doesn't figure out it's a joke

Fevers and Mirrors

Fevers and Mirrors

LP / CD / MP3




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