I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning review by Bright Eyes

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  • Released: Jan 25, 2005
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.5 (35 votes)
Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Sound — 10
Released alongside the more experimental Digital Ash, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning sees Conor Oberst return to the basic styles of stripped back songwriting that were somwhat abandoned of late in favour of a more grandoise aproach, and it certainly acts in his favour. The band is simple, often just Conor, his guitar and a pedal steel, or a few brass instruments. It's Morning opens with a monologe from Conor, a little story about a plane crash, that leads quite nicely into the oening track, an upbeat opening for a Bright Eyes album, setting the pace for what seems like a much less angst ridden collection than that which he has previously been credited with. As such, it would seem, Conor has matured in his style, even earning himself comparisons with Bob Dylan.

Lyrics — 10
Conor has long honed a reputation as a lyrical genius. Indeed, he has been recording and writing songs under the name Bright Eyes since he was thirteen, and It's Morning does not dissapoint. It may be his most honed lyrical performance to date. As already said, he has matured greatly in his style, focusing less on angst, or at least employing more sublety in it's depictions. It's Morning is, at times, utterly stunning, it's imagery and use of language to convey meaning is unbeleivably good. We also see a return of Conor much hallower, tremoluous vocals that, like the simplicity, was abandoned in favour of instrumental exuberance. The stripped back style suits the vocals, making the songs far more emotionally charged than they otherwise would be.

Overall Impression — 10
A stunning album. The simplicity of the songs acts as a perfect showcase for Conor's brilliant songwriting, with less unescesary instrumentation cluttering up the songs and stunting the emotional impact, he really lets loose with the lyrical flair. Some of the songs are truly stunning, and this is an album to be reccomended to any newcomer to Bright Eyes' rapidly extending catalogue.

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