Bright Eyes – Cassadaga

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Bright Eyes

Cassadaga - Saddle Creek Records

When I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning came out in 2005 I thought I had finally figured out Bright Eyes and while it didn’t suit my tastes completely it slowly started to grow on me and to this day there’s still a fair few tracks from that album that I love and can throw on anytime I want. It got to the point where I was excited to hear Oberst’s follow-up in hopes that he would be able to build on those select few tracks that I’ve grown to love. However, Cassadaga fails to do so – and I’m once again left trying to figure out the mysterious allure of Bright Eyes.

I will never say that Conor Oberst doesn’t know what he’s doing, because he certainly does. He has a flourish for song writing and his words flow nicely with the laid back melodies. Songs like If The Brakeman Turns My Way, Soul Singer In A Session Band or I Must Belong Somewhere all show that spark of emotion and power that I discovered two years ago during my first introduction to the band. Even though those songs can be a bit long, the shortest of the three clocks in a four minutes and fourteen seconds, Oberst is able to pull the listener in and completely engulf them in the simple words and soaring melodies.

But other than those three songs and a few other moments here and there (Four Winds and Middleman are worth a second look and No One Would Riot For Less is a eerily depressing track with a massive supporting cast) the album seems jumbled and in search of a direction. The songs are worth a listen but rarely stick out or captivate the listener the way Bright Eyes is supposed to. The songs continue on with the same length as the aforementioned, clocking in between four to six minutes in length, but often don’t have the necessarily attraction to keep your focused the entire time. It makes the songs forgettable and passable and the album, as a whole, monotonous at times.

The album isn’t bad, but it is long and void of the energy to keep you listening the whole way through. A few good songs here and there but constantly separated by lengthy fillers that make for a disjointed album even though he’s not really trying to do anything he hasn’t done in the past.