I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
Digital Ash in a Digital Urn': Four stars
The leader of indie-rock band Bright Eyes is a searingly intense and seriously talented 24-year-old Omaha, Neb., native by the name of Conor Oberst. Widespread fame probably will replace his cult-hero status after these two simultaneously released albums, both filled with deeply personal songs destined to burrow their way into your heart.
"I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning," which is folk oriented, and "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn," which is more electric, are filled with brash energy and neurotic anxiety, Oberst's trademarks since he began recording at the tender age of 13. What amazes is how smart and complex the tunes are, especially for an artist so young. (See story, page E12.)
Oberst may do his share of navel-gazing about doomed relationships and the pain of being alive and alone, but by matching his powerful tales of wounded innocence with instantly hummable pop hooks, he rarely fails to grab the listener.
LP / CD / MP3
LP / Deluxe LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3