Reviews

Fevers and Mirrors

Author: RE
06/07/2000 | Other Music Record Store Catalog (NYC) | Album Review
BRIGHT EYES "Fevers and Mirrors" (Saddle Creek) CD/LP $13.99/$10.99
RealAudio: userweb.interactive.net/~tomc/brightey.ram
RealAudio: userweb.interactive.net/~tomc/bright2.ram
How does one person generate so much angst in the years between age ten and twenty? Or rather, everybody generates the angst in those teenage years -- Conor Oberst just chooses to express his. On this, his fourth CD, his melancholia grindings turn to maudlin sickness. He's purged the pop, channeling it into superbly plunging, Violent Femmes-ish force, or, in depressive mode, a wavery, pained sweetness. I especially love how he's taking pieces of standards --"You Are My Sunshine", "Sunrise, Sunset", and rewriting them significantly in his own, exceptionally agitated style. I like thinking of Oberst's work as if you took Elliot Smith and physically shook him quickly while he was trying to write, sing or play. What kind of effect would this kind of constant harrassment have on a person? This CD is your answer. He also provides more elaborate arrangements than ever before -- pedal steel, flute, mellotron, and other miscellaneous organs accent the jittery, visceral lyrics. Some of this is recorded beautifully, other tracks sound like they were performed in a room with cement block walls. Disquieting, both literally and figuratively.
Fevers and Mirrors

Fevers and Mirrors

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