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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

Another year and another Bright Eyes album is crossed off the list. It’s not an easy listen, but that’s not because of any lack of quality in the songs, rather the annoying pseudo religious diatribe that occasionally fills the space up between the tracks. It’s not that entertaining on first listen and after a few times it starts to drive you mad. Unfortunately the first weird rant is ‘joined’ to the first track so it can’t be flicked and you spend to whole dirge ridden 5 minutes cursing Connor for putting you through this repeated torture. If track one was rubbish I would have flicked the whole thing, but unfortunately it’s rather jolly. Ok rant over, and onto the songs…

This sits somewhere between the less commercial sound of Digital Ashes and the folky lyricism of Cassadaga, and for the most part it’s the standard issue Bright Eyes that we all know and love. It’s not until the last few songs that the album kicks into overdrive however. The last four tracks are sublime lyrically, beautifully crafted and up there with his best work.

‘Triple Spiral’ kicks off the quartet with straightforward rock and tender sentiments, ‘Beginner’s Mind’ is stunning, profound and so catchy it refuses to be flushed out of you self conscious and ‘One for You, One for Me’ completes the set with passion, simplicity and lyrics from a genius. Oddly, the stark piano driven dialogue of ‘Ladder Song’ is the album's most memorable moment; it’s touching, poignant and delicate. It’s the musical equivalent being 1-nil up and scoring four goals in the last ten minutes of a football match.

Not a great album, but it’s well on the way to being one of my favourites of the year. It’s not a game changer however, and if you don’t like our Connor’s previous work, don’t expect this to change your mind.

1 comment:

  1. I would only listen to his music in moderation because of his sad vocal.
    You praise the last four tracks. I love the haunting closer "One for You, One for Me". It's one of my favorites from that year. I should revisit the other three you mention.