Review: Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

Conor’s a long way from what I thought his home was on this album.  However, the effects of his travels aren’t negative.  I’ve been vacilating on this album, because I’m not sure what to make out of it, even after a couple listens.  It’s just not the same guy I knew from Cassadaga.  It’s not that I expected the same stuff, since he’s done a lot of work over the past four years, to include the Monsters of Folk situation.  Early on, I wasn’t really on Conor’s bandwagon.  I liked the lyrics, but I wasn’t a fan of the delivery, nor was I a huge fan of his brand of folk.

On this album, there is a very clear turn toward electricity.  There’s not a lot of the folk stuff, and his voice seems different to me.  It’s not the actual auditory experience, it’s the immediacy that I like.  He rolls on this album with (a lot of Arcade Fire-ish) songs like, “Haile Salassie”, “Triple Spiral”, and “A Machine Spiritual.”  The best song is “Ladder Song”, which, in the past, would have been something I would’ve gotten bored with because ALL of the other tracks would’ve sounded similar.  But here, it’s fresh and refreshing, after the pace of the other songs.  My favorite song is the last track, “One for You, One for Me.”  It has this 80’s pseudo political soft rock feel, that somehow doesn’t sound corny in the least bit.  The vocal samples tie the album together, from beginning to end.  It’s a sign of growth, as a man and as a musician.

Grade: B+.  It’s a very, very good record.  I really enjoy the change in direction.

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