The People's Key
1/3/11 | Vaguespace.net | www.vaguespace.net | Record Review
Speaking of Saddle Creek, the label that formed to release the records of a very young Conor Oberst and his Omaha friends and musicians has made the first single from Bright Eyes latest record available for download at their website. It's been almost 4 years since the last Bright Eyes record, the disappointing Cassadaga, which signalled a move to a different, more folk/country-based type of music that Oberst played on the two solo records he put out in between. I'm not going to begrudge Conor for following his muse into different musical territory because often that can be a good thing, and I'm sure many people loved his solo efforts, but I just didn't care for them at all and my interest in Bright Eyes - a band that was just about my favorite band of all-time circa 2005/2006 -- has waned considerably. So much so that of all the albums I've listed so far on this post, Tapes 'n Tapes is probably the only one I'm less excited to hear. On the other hand, first single "Shell Games" is a return to at least Cassadaga-era Oberst music and doesn't sound much like his solo efforts. In his catalog, it's probably closest to fitting into something from Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, from 2005, which in itself was a huge departure from the albums of his youth that made me fall in love with the band. But he's much older now, and I'm aware he can't get away with the desperate screaming of "If Winter Ends" or his wonderful Desaparacidos release, so I guess I'm at least curious to see what The People's Key will sound like, even if I'm not quite blown away by the first single.