Artist: Bright Eyes
Record: Digital Ash in a Digital Urn</b>
Release: Jan. 25, 2005
Label: Saddle Creek
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5
Ok, so I know I've already reviewed the Desaparecidos CD on here. This would make it seem as if I'm one of those Connor Oberst fan girls or boys. But I'm far from it. Actually I kinda detest all the people that get all wet over Bright Eyes. No offense, its just that there are so many of them, and so many of them have no taste in music, and it seems as though they cling to Bright Eyes to give themselves Indie/Punk/Street cred. On the other hand I don't hate Bright Eyes on this account, or any account of that that matter. I know too many people that don't like them b/c of the Bright Eyes fans, and even some that don't like them b/c they like Modest Mouse and for some reason they feel they can't like both.(I have also noticed that many extreme Bright Eyes fans don't like Modest Mouse for the same reasoning. I feel they feel threatened by another similar act.) Its all really dumb. With all that said, I think Connor Oberst is a brilliant song writer. The previous Bright Eyes albums are so abrassive yet so extremely infectious. I do agree that some of the previous material is far to abrassive for many people to accept. With this latest installment in the Bright Eyes cataloge I expect that the Bright Eyes fans have something new to worry about....pop culture acceptance(even though many don't realize that its already been happening). Digital Ash in a Digital Urn displays a newer, refined Bright Eyes. I must say I rather angry when I heard that two Bright Eyes albums were coming out at the same time, especially since Oberst was supposed to be recording new Desa material. I actually contemplated not ever listening to the two albums for that reason. I gave in though, downloaded them more than a month before they were released and listened to them as I was coming into Tuscaloosa for the good ole Iron Bowl. I was shocked that it was so good. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn was really good. I listened to the second of the CD's at the end of my trip, I'm Wide Awake and It's Morning, and though I don't feel its quite as good, its still a good album.(I'll review this album later). Well after that, I didn't really listen to them any more. The other I decided to break them back out.
Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is a great collection of songs. For those familiar with Bright Eyes, most of the songs are in the same vein is Lover I Don't Have To Love.(I'm guessing though that most people familiar w/ Bright Eyes actually have listened to the album so i don't guess this review is for you) For those that don't know Bright Eyes let me elaborate. The songs on this CD are very 80's rockish/new wave, as far as the music and production are involved. The whole CD is very aural. Key tracks on the album are Track 1 - Time Code, Track 2 - Gold Mine Gutted, Track 7 - I Believe in Symmetry, and Track 12 Easy/Lucky/Free. I use the word key tracks very loosely b/c I feel this CD is best taken in all at once. The songs on this CD don't really seem to be as sad bastardy as previous Bright Eyes works. The songs are still sad, but Oberst seems to have gained a new optimism. I guess that happens when you make as much money as he does.
I realize i didn't go into to great detail on the songs themselves, but I really feel its more important to convince people who hold bad feelings towards Bright Eyes to listen to this CD. For one, this CD has no acoustic work on it. Or rather its not just Connor and his guitar on any songs. If they turned you off before then you have nothing to worry about here. Another is, the abrassive voice that you may hate, is no evident on this CD. Everything is really smoth and seemless. The album is really well produced and there is nothing abrassive about it. Now on to the critism of people who don't like Bright Eyes for other reason. Firs of all, I completely understand. about 75% of Bright Eyes "fans" suck. That doesn't mean if you listen to Bright Eyes you'll be one of those people. Hell, if you are that ashamed just don't tell anyone you are giving them a try. I know this is probably a futile subject here but whatever, just think about it. Liking one Bright Eyes album doesn't make you an "emo kid" its doesn't make you one of thoes people you hate, it doesn't effect the fabric of your life. Its not gonna be betraying some other band you listen to. Just b/c 75% of Bright Eyes fans suck, that doesn't mean Bright Eyes sucks. If you hated their previous work, I promis Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is far better.
Enough of that. All in all I gave this CD a 4 1/2 out of 5 b/c its Awesome, but its not like a groud breaking CD or one of the best I've ever heard. Its really good, and even if you hate bright eyes I would hope that you can drop you bias for just 49min. and 59 sec. long enough to listen to this CD.
Verdict: Cop it Now.