Reviews

There is No Beginning to the Story

Author: A.K. Gold
09/14/2002 | Flagpole | Album Review
There Is No Beginning To The Story is a four-song EP released as an appetite-whetter to prolific songwriter Conor Oberst's forthcoming Bright Eyes full-length. While, the EP does include the seemingly requisite redundant acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement, "Messenger Bird's Song," the other three tracks are each engaging in their own different way.
"From a Balance Beam" sets a drum corps against methodically arranged hammer dulcimer and mandolin noodling. "We Are Free Men" is a ballady duet between Oberst and Omaha songwriter Simon Joyner. The pair ably blend and contrast their distinct voices during heartfelt exchanges and harmonized proclamations of lines like "We will transcend the insignificance of our existence."
The real standout of the EP is the closer "Loose Leaves," which recalls the haphazard keyboard-driven songs that appeared on the earliest Bright Eyes recordings. Filled with keyboards, sampled squeals and yelps and a horn section; the song is a reminder of why Oberst was often compared to Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum. (P.O. Box 8554, Omaha, NE 68108)

Bright Eyes plays at the 40 Watt Club on Wednesday, May 22.


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