Saddle Creek | Bright Eyes | Reviews


Oh Holy Fools

01/22/2001 | Resonance | Album Review
“I have this new song called 'Wasted Pain,'" remarks Conor Oberst, the creative force behind the Omaha-based Bright Eyes, reagarding a newly polished piece. “It is one of those full sounds with three chords and ten thousand words-but I guess that's how all my songs are." Ten thousand words may be an exaggeration, but only slightly, considering the poetic, word-heavy soliloquies associated with Oberst and his naked lyrical style. Bracing an emotive guitar, Oberst's gentle manner transforms into a manic presence where his quivering voice cries along with each heartfeal lyrical whim.

Recreating his world through alarmingly personal music, Oberst's singing sometimes dangles dangerously close to melodrama. “It was in the March of winter that I turned seventeen that I bought those pills that I thought i would need," goes “No Lies, Just Love," a song from the Oh Holy Fools Spilit Ep Bright Eyes shared with ex-member Joe Knapp's band, Son, Ambulance. Luckily, Oberst's sincerity wins the listener over no matter how indulgent-or painful- his lyrics.

Be prepared before attending their live show-Bright Eyes push emotion to uncomfortable proportions. As Oberst sings with a six-piece band (who also double as Azure Ray), a typical performance compels an amazed, wet-eyes audience to wonder how someone barely old enough to drink can articulate the loneliest and most pathetic moments into gorgeously riveting pop.

In all this melancholy wearing a bit thin? Not when Oberst has an unnamed, hard rocking side project to balance the emotional scales. “We will start with some really small basement in Omaha for our first show, we only have about four songs," he admits. With only four songs to rehearse, why does Oberst's voice sound so strained? “We rock really hard," he quips, “and I sweat and fall over."
Oh Holy Fools

Oh Holy Fools

LP / CD / MP3