On Disc: Bright Eyes

Album: Cassadaga

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Cassadaga by Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes
Cassadaga
Saddle Creek Records

4 stars

Bright Eyes returns with its latest release, Cassadaga. The album opens with “Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed),” a play on “Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and to Be Loved),” the closing track to 2002’s Lifted.

The two standout tracks, “If the Brakeman Turns My Way” and “I Must Belong Somewhere” are both wonderfully constructed, while the love song “Classic Cars” features the admirable line “the whole world, it loves you if you are a chic chameleon.”

Though Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst alleges the band’s songs are based on being dissatisfied, incomplete or lonely, Cassadaga’s closing track, “Lime Tree,” continues the love theme.

While the album carries a different theme than previous releases, Bright Eyes still maintains a similar sound with tracks like “Middleman” and “No One Would Riot for Less.” Oberst preserves his reputation as a gifted storyteller and tortured artist, but to a lesser extent. Being in contention for one of the year’s greatest albums should help with his self-esteem.

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