Highway Conor Oberst Revisited

Photo by David Greenwald

The years wear on and Bright Eyes sounds more and more like Bob Dylan. Maybe it’s intentional, maybe not. Maybe Conor Oberst’s trying to live up to all those comparisons. Whatever. What matters is that the new material has some real promise to it. Oberst seems to be done playing around with genres, as he did with the good-but-trying-way-too-hard combo of I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. I’m Wide Awake had a few great songs (notably “This Is The First Day of My Life”) but overall, the album seemed more like country paint-by-numbers than the high, lonesome sound.

The new stuff, though, sounds real and lived-in, two very necessary traits for a folk singer whose voice cracks with ostensibly earnest emotion. “Tourist Trap” might be his best song since “No Lies, Just Love,” the amazing track that introduced me to Bright Eyes and lifted *ahem* my expectations beyond his capabilities. Until now…? We’ll have to wait for the full-length to find out.

All MP3s are right-click, save-as. Can you tell I’m excited about having my own file hosting? (Note: the EP tracks are courtesy of Saddle Creek Records.)

Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”: mp3
Bright Eyes – “Tourist Trap”: mp3

Bright Eyes – “No Lies, Just Love”: mp3

(The Four Winds EP is out now on Saddle Creek; Cassadaga is due April 10)


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