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Old 03-29-2007, 11:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
sleepy jack
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default Bright Eyes "Cassadaga"

Bright Eyes "Cassadaga"

Label: Saddle Creek Records
Release Date: April 10, 2007
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Country
1. Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)
2. Four Winds
3. If the Brakeman Turns My Way
4. Hot Knives
5. Make a Plan to Love Me
6. Soul Singer in a Session Band
7. Classic Cars
8. Middleman
9. Cleanse Song
10. No One Would Riot for Less
11. Coat Check Dream Song
12. I Must Belong Somewhere
13. Lime Tree

My first impression on this album, was wow this is one of the best Bright Eyes albums i've ever heard. I still think its better than digital ash and wide awake, however the more I listen to it the more some things about it annoy me, as i'll explain at the end of the review.

The album opens up with "Clairaudients (Kill Or Be Killed)" which starts out a with about two minutes of talking, its one of the more mellow songs on the album, possibly the most mellow I think but its got a lighter vibe to it. The song basically talks about how the times have changed, as the end of the song states.

Next is "Four Winds" which is the first single off the album. It sounds like something from Wide Awake only theres something not as country about it. It deals with religion and makes references to Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones (Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life."'") As well as W.B. Beats' The Second coming. The line in four winds "slouching toward bethlehem" and the line in the Second Coming is "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?". The poem, similar to Clairaudients talks about how society progresses without dignity.

Following that is "If The Brakeman Turns My Way" which starts out with something I was surprised to hear, Conor singing in a very controlled manner with a piano accompanying him. The song itself is very mellow, and one of the most pretty vocal works i've ever seen by Conor, he sings them amazingly a lot of the lines which aren't so good on paper really stand out when sung "Hey, where have all the dancers gone? Now the music doesn't play".

After that is "Hot Knives", the song deals with basically understanding and accepting pain and moving on. It has a really uplifting vibe to it, which fits with the lyrics. I was surprised to hear the lyrics in this whole song because they weren't much like anything i've seen from him before, I have no idea if thats a good thing not. I miss fevers and mirrors though.

Next is "Make A Plan To Love Me" which reminds me of Baby I Love You by the Ramones, it features Maria Taylor on vocals which added a level of prettiness to it I think. Its one of my favorite songs on the album just because it sounds so nice, "When you're young the world is a ferris wheel, I know we will grow old, it's lovely still."

After that is "Soul Singer In A Session Band" which is a slow, kind of waltzy song. I have no idea if its actually waltzy, since I don't know what the is but its what it came to my mind when I was thinking of how to describe it so deal, it basically talks about how fame is very bad.

Following that is "Classic Cars" which as my friend (<3) pointed out is a lot like We Are Free Men off of "There Is No Beginning To The Story". Which is a very country sounding song, which isn't surprising since one of the lines is "she said the best country singers die in the back of classic cars." The song is basically about if he gets so famous hes living in california, then he wouldn't have achieved what he wanted. This has possibly my favorite line off the whole album "And never trust a heart that is so bent it can’t break."

Next is "Middleman" which at a show Conor dedicated to any car salesmen in the audience because thats what he does as well, I have no idea if that holds any relevance to the actual meaning of the song but I thought i'd throw it in. I think this songs about being confined to your position in live, "The dead can hide beneath the ground and the birds can always fly" and how uncertainty is the only real thing in life. "The "I don't know," the "maybe so" is the only real reply."

After that is "Cleanse Song" which like If The Brakeman Turns My Way, really surprised me vocally. This song surprised me lyrically, All you give is returned and if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter and a season to sleep and a place to get clean." Towards the middle of the song it reminded me of Arc Of Time from digital ash with a focus on the drums as hes singing. It basically talks about taking a break and searching for happiness and what with his break during this its not surprising he'd have a song that talks about that sort of thing.

Following that is "No One Would Riot For Less" which as I said early reminds me of Cohen. Its very mellow and dark sounding. Live he said this song was about is about everyone turning against each other except for two people who love continue to love each other.

Next is "Coat Check Dream Song" which sounds like something off Digital Ash, vocally and lyrically. It gives that sort of poetry sung vibe to it. Theres also a line in a foreign language "Saada Tekmel B'Lhouria Houria", i'm pretty sure thats arabic or some other middle eastern language but I have no real idea.

After that is "I Must Belong Somewhere" which is about how everything belongs somewhere, its kind of an upbeat alternative country sounding song. It has a bunch of lines like "Leave the novelist in his daydream tune leave the scientist in his Rubik's Cube let the true genius in the padded room remain,"

The final track is "Lime Tree" this is an amazing track to close this with, as well as one of my favorites on the album. Its rather mellow and primarily acoustic, theres a lot of things going on with this song so I suggest just listening to it. Its about abortion my friend just told me, anyway the lyrics are beautiful, "don't be so amazing or I'll miss you too much", Under the leaves of that old lime tree I stood examining the fruit some were ripe and some were rotten, I felt nauseous with the truth", "So pleased with a daydream that now living is no good" and "I took off my shoes and walked into the woods I felt lost and found with every step I took."

This album is good, but some of the song seem way overproduced and contrived and would be better if they held that typical uncontrolled oberst vocal style as well as the occasional slight screw up. Because of how produced it sounds it gives me this washed up rock star vibe on some tracks, and after seeing him live I know hes far from washed up. Some of these tracks are very good though, and I prefer a lot of b-sides over some of the stuff on the album but they wouldn't have worked as well on it.

I wante to add this on to how overproduce this album sounds but its long and needed its own paragraph so. Hes basically selling out as much as I hate to use that term. The Four Winds video kind of made me think something of it. I mean he signed a deal with Polydor which is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group which is one of the big four, this is the same guy that protested and swore off Clear Channel and has written lines like "there are no art forms now just capitalism". He also signed onto Ravenhouse Ltd. management company. His new manager Juan Carrero turned modest mouse from indie band to selling more then a million CDs. The album also isn't signed to saddle creek, only licensed to it.

Back to the album. Lyrically he seems to have gotten weaker however he still has the occasional line in a song thats amazing "I had a lengthy discussion about The Power of Myth with a post-modern author who didn't exist in this fictitious world all reality twists I was a hopeless romantic, now I'm just turning tricks". However a lot of lines, are well not very good such as "leave the cauliflower in the casserole", though lines like that are fairly rare throughout the album. You also lyrically see a different side to him on this, and probably will for future songs. Hes a lot less angry, instead of lines like "You said you hate my suffering and you understood and you’d take care of me you'd always be there well where are you now?" or "So tonight to compensate, I will, I will poison myself another coughing, shaking fit in a bathroom that is spinning". You have lines like "And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter".

Musically its probably his most varied album and features the most instruments. The string arrangements are fantastic and you can see an obvious maturity for better or for worse. He'll be touring with a twelve person band instead of the usual six. Songs like Make A Plan To Love Me sound like something Phil Spector would've produced, while other songs like No One Would Riot For Less have a Cohen vibe to them.

It defiantly shows a new side of Conor, and I doubt we'll see anything like Fevers and Mirrors again, and I guess a lot of people consider that a good thing however Conors screaming and emotive lyrics were one of the reasons I loved him so much and this album doesn't have that.

Recommended Tracks: Four Winds, Cleanse Song, I Must Belong Somewhere, Classic Cars
Ethan's Favorites: Make A Plan To Love Me, If The Brakeman Turns My Way, Lime Tree, No One Would Riot For Less, Four Winds
Album Rating: 6.5/10

I had trouble deciding between a 6 and a 7, so I may mark it down or maybe even up after more listens.
Originally Posted by METALLICA89 View Post
Ive seen you on muiltipul forums saying Metallica and slayer are the worst **** you kid go suck your **** while you listen to your ****ing emo **** I bet you do listen to emo music
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