So I spent part of my evening last night listening to the brand new Bright Eyes album, The People’s Key. The album doesn’t drop until February 15, but NPR has it streaming on their website until that date.
Personally, I’m not sure if I agree with NPR’s Robin Hilton’s assertion that “This is the best album that Bright Eyes has ever made.” It’s good, don’t get me wrong, and I am a huge Bright Eyes fan. I just think it is very hard for Oberst and crew to beat I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning or Cassadaga. The People’s Key is pretty experimental and they’ve dropped the folksy-country sound for the most part. Interspersed with the music are snippets of pretty…erm…interesting dialogue from Oberst’s friend and fellow musician Danny Brewer. I will say that I really love the bit that the album ends with. It’s rather lovely and slightly profound.
All in all, I think it’s a good album, and Oberst’s soulful melancholy shines through, perhaps a little older and wiser now. I think the guy was born with the soul of a hundred twenty year old to begin with, though. My favorite tracks are “Haile Salassie” and “Triple Spiral.”