The People's Key
3/2/11 | Bears-eat-beats.com | www.bears-eat-beats.com | Record Review
I'm going to be honest: I never liked Bright Eyes. Not one bit. I always thought that Conor Oberst was talented with words, but I thought of his tunes as "whisper music" and songs like "Bowl of Oranges" and "Lua" always made me cry, so I decided to just not listen to Bright Eyes. However, on February 15, Bright Eyes came out with The People's Key, an album so drastically removed from the folksy feel of Oberst's earlier efforts that it nearly knocked me off my feet. The album opens with a philosophical, universe-exploring monologue by Danny Brewer (guitarist of Refried Icecream) and doesn't turn back: Oberst's vocals are no longer whispered as if strained from his very heartstrings and are instead confident and assured in their purpose and message. Special favorites include "Shell Games," "Triple Spiral," and "One For You, One For Me," but the entire album is cohesive, more than thoroughly enjoyable, and breaking down walls I'd built in my mind long ago. I didn't think Bright Eyes could rock, but The People's Key proved me wrong in a big way. I think I like being wrong.