Reviews

Every Day and Every Night

10/25/1999 | Delusions of Adequacy | Album Review
I remember when the last Bright Eyes full-length was released and positive
reviews abounded. Yet, somehow, none of them relayed the sound of the band enough to make me interested enough to review it. Instead, terms like "impeccable songwriter" and "country-tinged rock" made me shudder. Where's the originality there, I thought?

Every Day and Every Night is the band's new five-song EP, and now I realize that maybe their album was worth getting. But everything I read about them was right. This is country-tinged rock that is highly dependent on Conor Oberst's vocals. I am reminded of Will Oldham and Palace, somewhat, in that this music has a definite and palpable atmosphere and mood. It's laced with darkness, but it's not overladen.

"A Line Allows Progress, a Circle Does Not" kicks the album off and reminds me most of Oldham. It's moody, complete with organ/synthesizer and piano. The vocals are yearning but soft and heartfelt, and lyrics like "It is late afternoon as you walk through the rooms of a house that is quiet except for unanswered telephones. You stand near the sink while you're mixing a drink, you think you don't want to pass out where your roommates will find you again" show a knack for writing story-telling and moving songs. "A Perfect Sonnet" doesn't actually remind me of a sonnet, but it's intriguing, highly dependent on acoustic guitar and the vocals, which are warbly and broken yet passionate. "On My Way to Work" is the most country of the songs, softer and much more acoustic than the rest. "A New Arrangement" is similarly soft and introspective but has probably the best lyrics on the album: "You nod in an acknowledgement of your frequent mood swings but what good is an acknowledgement it still don't change things." The violin in this track is a nice touch as well. "Neely O'Hara" is soft and dark, with screaming vocals lost in the background and ending with samples of a woman talking in what I guess is Japanese. No, maybe it's Russian. Hmmm, an odd, chaotic ending to a beautiful song.

This album seems perfect for upcoming Halloween. It's got dark colors and a somewhat dark mood. It's got skeletons on the cover and even mentions skeletons in the song. It's a good pickup to find a new interest in a band that plays heartfelt folk-tinged rock songs with a singer-songwriter who deserves attention. Oh, and I'm going out to get that full-length and will eagerly await their upcoming full-length.