Forget for a minute that four of the songs on this disc have already appeared on the OH HOLY FOOLS split CD, interspersed with four tracks from Son, Ambulance. Their assemblage here, with the addition of two extra tracks, represents a quantum leap for Bright Eyes as a band, and perhaps the most coherent song cycle they've released yet. To be sure, the lyrics and voice of Nebraskan wunderkind Connor Oberst dominate the scene, but the tasteful inclusion of flute, horns, back-up vocals, and electronics lend this record the feel of a true "band" recording. The formula hasn't changed a great deal from last year's FEVERS AND MIRRORS, but Oberst and company meld better than ever, and the lyrics and vocals seem to be growing in leaps and bounds with each new song they record. A must.