The People's Key
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2011 release from the Alt-Rock faves, their seventh studio album overall. The People's Key is the eagerly awaited follow-up to 2007's acclaimed Cassadaga. Since 2006 the once revolving cast of Bright Eyes players has settled around permanent members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, with additional musicians joining them in the studio and on tour. Fully realized and bursting with charisma, The People's Key is an assured and accomplished album, artfully arranged and filled with the engaging and mesmeric songwriting for which Oberst is renowned.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I don't intend for this to appear as psychobabble. This is just the view from the air with this CD as my rocket.
This is the 7th and rumored to be final Bright Eyes album. If you look at it from that perspective, disappointment will most likely be your initial reaction because a folk record along the lines of Lifted.. or Wide Awake would be a more fitting farewell.
Yet if you look at it as another Bright Eyes record it's actually impressive. Listening to it I get the vibe that this is everything Digital Ash was supposed to be. The record is rock influenced with the slight hints of electronic synths. It sounds full, layered and is much more consistent than Cassadaga. The spoken word segments through out the album can get kind of annoying, but the don't really deter from the music. Lyrically angry Conor is pretty much a thing of the past. The lyrics and overall tone of his voice is more positive.
The packaging for this record is nice, not quite as nice as Cassadaga's, but nice nonetheless. The outer jacket is a gatefold with holographic details on both the outside and the inner side where the lyrics are printed. The record is heavy 180g and comes in a standard plastic sleeve, but the actual record inner sleeve is enclosed as well. Saddle Creek tossed in a copy of the cd instead of the traditional download code which makes the vinyl package a great value.
Overall this is a great record. If your new to Bright Eyes though start with Fevers and Mirrors than work your way through Lifted.. and Wide Awake... and listen to a young Conor in his absolute prime and see why he's one of the best writers of our young generation.
That's why this album comes as a huge surprise. Incredibly well constructed songs, inticing production, intriguing lyrics and concepts, an overall sense of well-being and hope as opposed to despair and self-pity, this album shows a depth I honestly thought Bright Eyes did not possess. This album is on my turntable constantly! Every song is a gem and, while the narrative ramblings of Randy Brewer might be confusing to some, I find them to fit rather well with the overall tone of the album. I am immensely glad that Conor cleaned himself up and is able to show the world what he is capable of. I hope he changes his mind about dissolving the Bright Eyes moniker as well. It sounds to me like these guys just found themselves.