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Four Winds - EP

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Customer Reviews

The winds bring change…

Let me begin by saying that I am a huge Bright Eyes fan. I have almost everything he has ever touched on vinyl as well as CD. So as you can imagine I am a bit biased. Pretty much if he writes it I’ll love it. Having said that, for me this EP is probably the least exciting of his stellar collection. (See: There is no Beginning to the Story, Every Day and Every Night, and Don’t Be Frightened of Turning the Page.) Don’t get me wrong; it’s a good EP, but nowhere near my favorite. Probably because it’s cut from a part of cloth that I don’t particularly feel attached to when it comes to Bright Eyes. It is a strange mixture of his styles that include a song (Cartoon Blues) that seems like it was written directly after “The Calendar Hung Itself...”, to songs like “Stray Dog Freedom”, “Reinvent the Wheel’, and “Four Winds” which make this EP his most collectively up-tempo work to date. My favorite song on the EP is ‘Smoke Without Fire’ which features our beloved whisky soaked voice of M. Ward! However the problem is that M. Ward’s part seems to outshine Conor’s. It seems as if Connor were being featured rather than Matt. All and all it’s a good EP but not great. Not one of the songs stood alone and touched me, as has always been the case with his previous EP’s. You know, a song that you listen to endlessly on repeat. The lyrics feel more detached than usual and of course this is a very different sounding record. Maybe I just need to listen to it more…

a great ep... the next step in bright eyes maturation

First of all... this ep is AMAZING and the best part is that this is only the ep and the album will be 100 times better. If you've never heard bright eyes or you have heard some of their older stuff and thought it was too much, this is the ep for you. If you are sick of the mind numbing crap that they play on the radio these days, bright eyes is the first band you should listen to to transition into real music. Bright eyes is a great band because they approach music as a art form, and each time you listen to a song you will hear something new. Give this band a chance... you will not be sorry. song by song break down: four winds- one of the better bright eyes songs to date. Full sound, great lyrics, lovely. reinvent the wheel- a stunning tribute to a fallen musical genius, elliott smith. (also you should look into this artist as well.) smoke without fire- conor oberst +m.ward = great musical harmony. they compliment eachother's voices very well on this track and i love it. The melody rushes over you like warm scented bath water. stray dog freedom- not the strongest song on the ep, but funky and worthwhile all the same cartoon blues- a fierce song that digs into you and wont let go. My absolute favorite on the ep. tourist trap- this song has a nostalgic twang and a suubtle sadness that is classic bright eyes. it sounds like the lead singer is softly singing into your ear. one word- goosebumps

It's Decent, Yet...

What initially drew me to Bright Eyes was the moody, rain-drenched introspective shoulder shrugging set against relatively urgent and innovative instrumentation and production. I'm speaking of tracks like "Lover I Don't Have to Love" and "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)", which conjured a specific emotional tautness that I identified with. Connor used to be at once urban and country, vulnerable and angry, melancholy and proactive. I could picture a red straw spinning slowly in a cocktail glass as shiny-eyed girls stumbled off to another after party. This new stuff doen't do much for me. It's a further exploration of "I'm Wide Awake...", but where I was hoping for redefinition the EP is more or less B-sides of an old album. It doesn't sound like new material, it's eschewed songs from an (albeit very good) old record that should've been released back in '05. "Smoke Without Fire" sounds like a rehashed "Something Vague" from the Saddle Creek 50 compilation and all the songs sound like the dusty, hipster neo-country getting heavy rotation on Morning Becomes Eclectic. If that's your bag, then hey: buy this EP now. But I found it (dare I say) repetitious, a pale shadow of songs like "One Foot In Front Of Another" and "We Are Nowhere and It's Now", which were actually quite poignant. The songs on "Four Winds" are good, don't get me wrong, it just feels like a playground I've been to before and now I'm too big to enjoy the slides and swings. Like when you watch old episodes of cartoons you used to love that don't hold up to adult viewings. Or... maybe I just thought the material on "I'm Wide Awake..." was a good-enough journey and I was hoping the band would explore some new turf. Or re-explore even older turf. Desaparecidos was a fine effort and I wouldn't mind hearing more of that energy and less Kenny Loggins-inspired classic rockery (such as heard on "Stray Dog Freedom").


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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