Reviews

Cassadaga

Author: Jon M. Gilbertson
04/12/2007 | Milwaukee Journal Sentinal | www.jsonline.com | Live Show Preview
Lack of scope and ambition don't hamstring Bright Eyes mastermind Conor Oberst. His last two albums, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" and "Digital Ashes in a Digital Urn," were released simultaneously in 2005, and even at 27 he's still dripping music like the "boy genius" he was tagged earlier.

"Cassadaga" might resurrect the "new Dylan" line that irritates both Oberst and his fans, but the new disc's torrential thoughts, piercing wordplay and orchestral country & western style angle Bright Eyes closer to Phil Ochs' late period. Oberst even seems to have figured out how to regulate his semi-adolescent quaver.

Of course, with maturity comes disillusionment (or vice versa), and "Cassadaga" bleeds lost hopes in major keys, from the postmodern honky-tonker "Soul Singer in a Session Band" to the glistening hillbilly folk number "Middleman."

Oberst travels everywhere to find himself, then discovers that the journey, not the destination, is the important thing.
Cassadaga

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