Album Review

Bright Eyes "The Peoples Key"

Eric Hann
Brilliant is a description over used all to often in music, but one could make a good argument for Conor Oberst the mastermind behind Bright Eyes. At only 14 years old Conor Oberst was already making a burst onto the music scene in his first band Commander Venus. Only someone as brilliant as Oberst would be able to write such deep and insightful lyrics at his age. The lyrics are so good sometimes they almost make you forget how good of a musician he is. You can especially hear how far along Obersts voice has came on the piano only track 9 Ladder Song.

The Peoples Key is Obersts most experimental album yet to date. With lyrics like “My private life is an inside joke, no one explained it to me” in track 2 Shell Games, you can clearly see he hasn't lost his lyrical touch. Oberst sounds more clear and confident than he ever has on previous albums. Oberst still has a Folk music influence on this album, but for now is leaning more towards being a pop/rock artist. Many fans will most likely greet this change with outrage and anger, but hopefully others will welcome the evolution and growth Oberst is exploring. You can always go back to your basics later in your career and I for one commend and welcome artists to write and play what they want.

I only have two complaints about the album, it isn't very long running at only 47 minutes. The 47 minutes unfortunately also includes two bad recordings of some guy talking about his thoughts and views on life. It is a shame because both tracks with this guys voice are two of the strongest songs on the album. Personally I think if Oberst thinks these thoughts and views of this person he knows is so important he should include these thoughts and views in his music.

Overall The Peoples Key is a refreshing new sounding Bright Eyes that will grow on their fans. When Oberst first hit the scene many writers labeled him as the next Bob Dylan, I think it is safe to say with albums like this one Oberst will make his own mark but will not be remembered as another Bob Dylan. Between Bright Eyes and Obersts other side projects like Monsters of Folk I can't wait to see what he will release next.