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Bright Flight

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Editors’ Notes

While Stephen Malkmus’ groovy guitar leads had assumed a starring role on American Water, this album returns the focus to Berman’s lyrics, which renew the craftsmanship of The Natural Bridge, his apex as a writer. Berman has said that Bright Flight was written at a time when his personal affairs were at a nadir, and his companions were “crooks and prostitutes.” The narrators of these songs are often preoccupied with doom, and the album's first half presents visions of imminent self-destruction. The opening of “Horseleg Swastikas” summarizes Berman’s state of being: “I'm drunk on a couch in Nashville / In a duplex near the reservoir / And every single thought feels like a punch in the face / I’m like a rabbit freezing on a star.” However, Berman also believes in the dual nature of life, and within its despondence Bright Flight records the glimmer of new love. Berman had recently met Cassie Marrett, who appears on the album and would soon become his wife and muse. Even as Berman looks downward, he can’t disguise his heart’s excitement on “I Remember Me,” “Tennessee,” and “Room Games and Diamond Rains.”

Customer Reviews

Boatbutter's Review

Phenomenal album. There are images of America on this record that would make Townes Van Zandt bite his fist with jealousy (if he were alive of course). I built a boat dock while listening to this album on repeat on a sweltering St. Louis summer day and the smell of cedar will forever remind me of it. This is the kind of album that unites Republicans and Democrats, Pashtuns and Punjabs, even Bear and Packer fans. I also read somewhere that Jenna Jameson loves "to work" while listening to this album. Anyway, Earth is a better planet because of "I Remember Me."

Grew to love it

I've never liked country music. The first time I listened to this album I hated it. I didn't like Cassie's singing voice and I thought what has Berman done going out on a country limb like this. I kept listening to this album though, hoping it would grow on me and it did. Not only did it grow on me, it became my second favorite Silver Jews album right behind Natural Bridge. Cassie's back-up vocals really grew on me and of course Berman's lyrics were great. I would fully recommend this album and to give it more then a couple plays if you don't like it.


Formed: 1989 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A beautiful mess of indie rock, country-rock and lo-fi with lyrics both witty and profound, the Silver Jews were formed in 1989 by writer/musician David Berman with his friends, guitarist/singer Stephen Malkmus and drummer Bob Nastanovich. The trio performed together as Ectoslavia when they studied at the University of Virginia; after graduation, they moved to New York and shared an apartment. Dubbing themselves the Silver Jews — after the Silver Apples, the Silver Beatles, and slang for blonde-haired...
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