Wow. It seems like Conor Oberst is finally maturing. While he produced some amazing songs while he was younger (he started writing songs at 13), my problem with them was that sometimes he was a bit too whiney-sounding. Conor is in his '20s now, and the "whineyness" is gone. Conor also used to lay the symbolism on a bit too thick. He has toned that down now to the perfect level.
I have a very serious problem with this album, however. There are only 4 songs. I want more. Each song is a masterpiece. I have over 3000 mp3s on my computer, I have listened to probably tens of thousands of songs in my lifetime. These 4 songs are all in my top 50 of best songs in any genre.
"Loose Leaves" is the best song I have ever heard. Both the lyrics and the melody is creative, original, and imaginative. The song is very polished, yet somehow escapes feeling artificial like mass-produced teeny-bopper music.
Where "Loose Leaves" involved too many instruments and sounds to keep track of, "Messenger Bird Song" is an acoustic, simple, and beautiful tale of love.
The other songs are great too. I won't describe them because people interpret Bright Eyes songs in so many different ways.
Who would love Bright Eyes? Romantic philosopher existentialists. Disenchanted nihilists. Manic depressives. Youth in the midst of a complete identity crises.
If you want to feel strong emotions of awe and happiness, buy this CD.
However, if you want a slightly darker, more powerful CD, try an earlier work by Bright Eyes, "Fevers and Mirrors."