Thereís a time
in every modern indie rock teenagers life when they discover
Bright Eyes and must decide whether they love or detest the
gloomiest dream boy. The man behind the music, Conor Oberst,
is such a cult icon of the scene, his striking black hair
and pale face reminding us that itís okay to be emotional.
He gave, and gives, boys and girls alike the "ok" to cry. I
came down on the love side of the conundrum; Iíve long
enjoyed "emo" music, and Bright Eyes has always seemed like
the perfect combo of indie and emo. Today Iím highlighting
two of my favorites that showcase two sides of Bright Eyes.
First, probably *the* song that most people think of when
they think of Bright Eyes: First Day Of My Life. The
simple solo guitar chords slowly, sweetly compliment
Oberstís lo-fi, soft vocals. His voice wavers every so
often, convincing the listener that Oberst is in love with
them, and only them. The lyrics are so sweet it borders on
cloying, but thereís such an honest quality to the song that
I canít help feeling that Oberst really does just love
someone that much. The song also includes one of my all time
favorite lines from a love song; "Iíd rather be working for
a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery."
Eyes - First Day Of My Life:
My second favorite song is another one of Bright Eyes more
well-known efforts, Four Winds. Even though he hails
from Northern climes, Iíve always thought that this song
felt very "Texas." This is after Oberst took a slightly more
countrified turn. Those who are used to singer-songwriter
Oberst may be surprised to hear a full band sound, and such
a rich one at that. The fiddle is the star of this tune, but
there are definitely a couple different layers at work here.
The song is so versatile; sometimes it makes me wanna dance,
and sometimes it makes me wanna cry. There is such a
palpable yearning in his voice that is mirrored only in the
slight whine of the strings.
Eyes - Four Winds:
Iíve definitely met my fair share of Bright Eyes haters. And
sure, Oberst can be a little trite at times. But if you give
it a chance, you might be rewarded with some of the most
heart wrenching (you know, in a good way!) music youíve
heard in a long time.
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