Author: Elizabeth Goodman
Listening to this collection of rarities from indie rock's most prodigious It-boy is comforting because it feels like listening to any other Bright Eyes record. At first you're like, "Hmmm, yet another warbling indie boy singing about being fucked up." And then, out of no where, a line strikes you in that clear and perfect way, and you find yourself wondering how you'd ever lived without hearing it. This remarkable collection is full of those moments as Oberst dances from songs about longing and love ("Amy In the White Coat") to songs about alcohol and love ("Drunk Kid Catholic") to songs about drugs and love ("Spent on Rainy Days"). Many of the tracks on here are well-loved fan favorites — the devastating "Soon You Will Be Leaving Your Man," for example — but there is lots here for even the most well-schooled Bright Eyes obsessive. Plus, as is typical with Conor, no song is sung the same way twice. These tracks will continue to haunt you a hundred listens in.