Open my Bright Eyes

There was a very long time that everything about Bright Eyes made my stomach turn. The hair, the forced vibrato, the teen angst, the comparisons to Dylan...everything. He turned a corner for me, however, with the simultaneous release of Digital Ash in a Digitial Urn and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, a mass of songs with such breadth I couldn't deny it anymore. Dude was growing up. Despite the spotlight and the expectations, a legion of doubters and an even bigger mob of pretentious fans, Conor Oberst kept writing great songs. And hey, maybe they have been great this whole time, but people like me started to take notice again. His new album Cassadaga dropped yesterday and it's another stone in his path to fruition. Stinging strings, playful lap-steel, plucking banjo, and brighter melodies abound in a swirling near-masterpiece. "Four Winds" might actually get airplay, another notch in the bedpost for an artist who has graced the cover of so many music mags by the tender age of 27. Guest players include Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Ben Kweller, M. Ward, Maria Taylor, and Rachel Yamagata.

No One Would Riot for Less
I Must Belong Somewhere
[from Cassadaga|buy ($7.99 on amazon)]


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