The People's Key
Author: Marlon Bishop
3/8/11 | WNYC.org | www.wnyc.org | Record Review
In 2002, Conor Oberst, alias Bright Eyes, exploded into the national consciousness like a supernova with his breakthrough album Lifted. His lyrical honesty earned him endless comparisons to Bob Dylan, among others. Music writers began forecasting that his native Omaha, Nebraska might become "the new Seattle," and that his brand of raw, folksy emo was the "new grunge." Whether or not all the hype came to fruition, the Bright Eyes sound has been a very influential part of our 21st century soundscape, and now it's all coming to an end. Kind of. In February, Oberst released the album The People's Key, the last album he'll ever play with the moniker Bright Eyes. The album has a far more rocked-out sound than recent releases, and includes the songs "Shell Games" and "Haile Selassie," both of which you can download here. Even when dressed up in synthesizers and heavy guitars, Oberst's fearless vulnerability comes across, right on pitch.