The People's Key
1/30/11 | Twentyfourbit.com | www.twentyfourbit.com | Record Review
As with most of the Bright Eyes discography, their seventh album, The People's Key, is a full meal of nuanced and climactic arrangements, half-confessional introspection, spiritual longing, and philosophy-bolstered rallying cries. Sonically, producer/multi-instrumentalist Mike Mogis dresses up Conor Oberst's ever-maturing craftsmanship as a songwriter and lyricist with welcomed other-worldly flourishes, from a touch of vocal robot effects and a pitch-bending flying saucer moment on "Beginner's Mind" to the syncopated coda edits in the near-title track, "A Machine Spiritual (The People's Key)." Fans of I'm Wide Awake It's Morning ("Lua," in particular) will love the gorgeous solo piano-backed "Ladder Song," while Digital Ash in a Digital Urn apologists (like myself) will have no trouble getting through the six-and-a-half-minute closing jam, "One for You, One for Me." Here's hoping this isn't the moniker's swan song.