Sound — 7
This is the first full Bright Eyes album, recorded from the ages 15 to 17(hence the name). It was recorded on a Teac four track cassette recorder in Conors' Parents basement. This gives a very, very lo-fi sound to the overall recording. The album shows his early experimentation with noises, radios, and sound collage. The music ranges from '90s lo-fi pop, (Falling Out of Love at This Volume) to folk-y meanderings, and Spanish style music. At this time, Conor had no one else to play with, and so he plays all instruments. The only collaboration is in the song Feb. 15(Conors birthday), with Neely Jenkins(who is now in Tilly and The Wall). The one main problem he had was with mic overload, because it can become unintelligible. If you don't mind the lo-fi-ness of the sound then you're going to like this.
Lyrics — 10
These lyrics show you the starting point for conors lyrics throughout his career. They are very poetic, with great uses of imagery and rhythm. He starts to develop a great rhyme style with his lyrics here. The words he uses paint a picture of his life, and show many emotions. The music and the lyrics meld well together, they blend into one solid wall of musical sadness. I'm probably one of the few people who likes his singing. Conor isn't a really bad singer, it's just that the sound and overall tone of his voice makes it sound bad.
Overall Impression — 9
If you've never heard of Bright Eyes get something like Fevers and Mirrors or Lifted, then get this. This will weed out a true fan from all of the hipsters in the room. This album is very strong for some one of his age. There are some weak points in the later part of the album. The strongest song that I can think of are Feb. 15, Falling Out of Love at This Volume, and I watched you taking off. I love the overall grittyness to the albums, the great lyrics, and the music in general. If you're already a big fan, get this album. This is a classic in the new Indie movement.