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The People's Key

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iTunes Review

Conor Oberst had far too much weight put on him at an early age. He’s spent most of his career trying to diffuse expectations while still crafting music that speaks from his heart and soul. By recording with his Bright Eyes buddies — Nate Wolcott and Mike Mogis — Oberst quickly reaches the comfort zone. “Jejune Stars” and “Triple Spiral” capture Oberst’s ebullient bounce with cheesy keyboards and beats borrowed from an ‘80s new-wave disco ensemble. “Beginner’s Mind” adds even more reverb for a plush Depeche Mode-like dream. “Approximate Sunlight” turns to doom-laden, stripped-down indie rock with the crashing of radio waves opening the space. It’s a Midwestern indie-rock band’s interpretation of reggae. Rastafarian spiritual ideas can be heard laced throughout the album. “A Machine Spiritual (In the People’s Key)” is a futuristic Oberst recalling the Clash’s Joe Strummer during his Sandinista! period. Texas musician Randy Brewer contributes rambling spoken- word pieces that serve as dramatic devices, introducing the album’s “Firewall” and closing up “One for You, One for Me.”

Customer Reviews

Welcomed Upbeat Sound!!!

When Conor came out with the electronic Digital Ash in a Digital Urn this is the album that I expected. This album is more upbeat than previous efforts but doesn't rely solely on Electronic tune like the aforementioned album. I'm Wide Awake It's Morning aside this is there strongest effort. I always hoped Conor and gang would have an album where they picked up the pace, I always felt it would suit his voice and songwriting abilities. Even in recent interviews he stated the band wanted to move on from the folky singer songwriters stuff and branch out. This will appeal to a wider audience but hopefully it will still appease the die hard fans.

Back from the Country

For me, 2005 was still the best year for Bright Eyes when they produced "Digital Ash In A Digital Urn" as well as I'm "Wide Awake, It's Morning". It is inevitable that a group will experiment with their sound, but, with Cassadaga, it just felt mixed up with Conor's desire to experiment in the folk / country music realm. "The People's Key" is a step back in the right direction. Although it is missing the beloved distorted sounds from their earlier records, the tracks still contain the meaningful, deep lyrics and harmonies we have all grown to love. Hopefully the rumors aren't true and this won't be their last album.

True to Bright Eyes' iconic sound

Great record from start to finish. This serves very well as Bright Eyes' 7th and final studio album, and as a long-standing fan I couldn't be more pleased. People's Key was a welcomed change of pace from 'Cassadega' and will see many many plays by my hand.



Formed: 1995 in Omaha, NE

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although many musicians have joined the band's rotating lineup, Bright Eyes is primarily the songwriting vehicle of Conor Oberst, a quivery-voiced Nebraska native who first attracted attention in 1994 -- when he was only 14 years old -- as the singer and guitarist for Commander Venus. Oberst proved to be a prolific musician, joining multiple bands (including Commander Venus, the Magentas, Park Ave., and Desaparecidos) while also co-founding Saddle Creek, an influential label that helped broadcast...
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