Saddle Creek | Bright Eyes | Reviews


Fevers and Mirrors

Author: Jimmy Draper
07/19/2000 | San Franciso Bay Gaurdian | Album Review
For Conor Oberst - the frail, elfinlike Nebraskan at the heart and soul of Bright Eyes - music is a haunted house of self-examination: skeletons tumble from closets, hidden histories cast suffocating shadows, corners are cobwebbed and thick with secrets. His rail-thin voice shakes and trembles like every word may be his last.

The end never feels far off on Bright Eyes' ominous Fevers and Mirrors. Its slo-mo emo songs are so poetically ill-fated and panicked that they're practically motionless, incapacitated under the weight of Oberst's heart-heavy confessions. Such sparse music can barely support the vocal intensity as his most emotionally claustrophobic moments verge on breaking down or cracking up. Oberst is a man with so much history - certainly too much for a 20-year-old - that his music feels crowded and lived-in, haunted by ghosts of past loves and lives.

Or perhaps just one particular love. Oberst's most unnerving personal demon - a certain failed relationship - follows and persists: "I drug your ghost across the country and we plotted out my death / In every city memories would whisper, 'Here is where you'll rest.' " But he should only be so lucky: sounding as if he hasn't slept since the day she left, he's tired and defeated but too afraid that when he wakes, he'll have forgotten all their secrets and history.

So Oberst constructed this phenomenal collection of songs to keep their relationship alive. Unfortunately, all the longing in the world can't bring back the dead: on Bright Eyes' Fevers and Mirrors, home is where the heart is - even if it's locked inside a handmade haunted house of death and regret.
Fevers and Mirrors

Fevers and Mirrors

LP / CD / MP3


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Cassadaga (Remastered)

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LP / CD / Cassette / MP3