Saddle Creek | Bright Eyes | Reviews


Lifted or The Story is in the Soil....

Author: Mike Conklin
08/13/2002 | HARP | Album Review
Just in case you haven't caught wind of this whole Bright Eyes phenomenon that started when the band released Fevers and Mirrors in 2000, here's a direct quote from the Saddle Creek message board, courtesy of someone who goes by the name Mylifeisworsethanyours: "This bottle of fucking unmarked
pills is my only friend tonight and every night of my miserable, little life...besides Nietzsche and Kafka, of course." These are the kind of kids who have latched on to the hypersensitive musings of Bright Eyes' 22-year-old frontman, Conor Oberst, the kind of kids you want more than anything to mercilessly smack around. Now, say what you will about how an artist's fans shouldn't be a factor when examining his or her work, but
judging from Lifted or the Story is in The Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, you'll have a hard time convincing Oberst. He knows. He knows he doesn't want to be associated with attention-starved fanatics who find it necessary to share their hilariously over-dramatic thoughts on a public message board. And thankfully, like, all great artists, he's managed to stay exactly one step ahead of his fans. Because while they were sitting at home crying along to his last batch of songs, Oberst was out on tour trying
to figure shit out, and it certainly seems he was successful. The songs on Lifted pose just as many questions as those on Fever and Mirrors, but this time around there are almost as many answers. On the disc's best tracks, Oberst dishes out his newfound wisdom over a surprisingly rocking bed of acoustic guitars, keyboards and drums in a series of mantra-like declarations about the search for happiness - or maybe just sanity - in a world he's none too comfortable with. Even if you're not a troubled teenager, you should probably give this a listen - chances are you'll benefit from some of this kid's knowledge as well.