Well it just took me about an hour to download this; (thanks Saddle Creek team who helped me when Google ate my download!) which makes me pine for CDs even more. I am getting my CD; but it's the same day as the Scala gig, so I want to know some songs before then! I have the lyric sheet here, and it's like the booklet, so it's nearly as good, except I can remember the exact bed I was lying on the first time I heard Digital Ash and Wide Awake... that day felt too good to be true. But I was a young 'un then. Things can't stay that good.
Anyway; it's not Conor's fault I'm a technophobe, so let's get stuck in.
Oh by the way, the cover. It is a bit cheapo, but when you've suffered through the last two font types on Moz's front covers anything seems acceptable. I wouldn't even use some of those on a poster for a mental home jumble sale. Anyway.
Ah... annoying intro! Check! It warms the heart. I've missed you, Bright Eyes. I've missed you, Conor. I've even missed Mike Mogis (a bit). And I always liked Nate cos his favourite song to play live is I Believe In Symmetry (which is my favourite song of all time). Also, I saw the other side and it wasn't pretty.
This intro appears to be some David Icke bullshit about shapeshifting. Only ten tracks on this album! Bit tight. And I've heard two of em. Best hurry along, now.
Early disclaimer: first impressions mean nothing, especially with Bright Eyes songs. These opinions could be null and void very shortly. Oh Coyote Song isn't on it. I like that song, but it's good to have more newies. The Coyote Song video was really lovely, though.
The first song is called Firewall. I'm not sure about it yet. I like the drum machine, but it's a bit slow and doesn't go anywhere. Still, no country guitars? Check. The lyrics are Four Winds-ey.
Second is Shell Games, which was the first freebie off the album. I like it, it's a bit poppy/ 80s and reminds me of The Killers. 'I'm still angry with no reason to be...' is a fab line. It's like an album track off Digital Ash (which, incidentally, my favourite Bright Eyes album of all time).
Jejune Stars reminded me of Cursive at first, and then Rilo Kiley's Portion for Foxes in the middle. I like it, the cheesy keyboard the mentions of 'karma' and the 'staircase of misinformation' (sounds like a task on Big Brother). It almost sounds like it's going to rock out, but never quite does. Still, echoes of better songs like ...Symmetry.
Approximate Sunlight reminds me of You Were Good in Your Time by Morrissey. It's even got a creepy sample in it. It's also got a feeling of Rabbit Hole off Digital Ash. I like it when he sings in that lazy kind of style, but I also want him to go full throttle and out of tune. Will he? Will he? Will he? He probably won't.
I've already heard Haile Selassie but only last week. I like it, I like the fact his voice sounds a bit grating on it, and it's quite catchy. What is he talking about? I haven't got a clue. I like the 'I've seen stranger things happen' line.
A Machine Spiritual: The echo effect on his voice is good. The tune sounds a bit Mexican. The lyrics are dreamy nonsense. This album feels like a mishmash of Cassadaga and Digital Ash.
Tripal Spiral is like a rockier Light Pollution. The subject matter reminds me of an Emmy the Great song (The City). I like all the noise going on. What is a Tripal Spiral? Fuck knows. I think Conor's been smoking something.
Beginner's Mind also sounds like someone's going crazy on a Major Morgan. I think this one could be a big grower, it's got a bit of an anthemic feel to it. I enjoyed the 'starting over' bit.
Ladder Song just got to me a bit. It's a little bit of Lime Tree mixed with Breezy, very stripped down. I like it when he goes back to basics as well.
One for you, One for me has a nice drum machine on it (Easy, Lucky Free!) Sorry, it's not my fault everything reminds me of everything else. The good thing is, they are reminding me of songs I love! The way he says 'me'- he sounds nearly English.
Ooh, the 'You and me, that's an awful lie, It's I and I' line is a killer. Straight out of the Morrissey handbook, good work, Oberst.
More babbling nonsense over the end, but I don't mind because it's Bright Eyes and they're back! It feels like home. It feels wonderful.
Ooh, I snaffled up two bonus tracks from somewhere, so let's have a listen. Singularity is OK, I like the vocal effects but it's a bit ploddy. In fact it's the first one I've even thought about skipping. So I guess it's OK it's not on the album! And finally there's In The Real World, which has some pretty dull lyrics. It reminds me of Theme to Pinata- which reminds me of Big Brother USA, but that's another story.
Yeah so the bonus tracks weren't all that, but hey ho. This album has almost expelled the memory of the dire Mystic Valley band. ALMOST. I love you, Conor. I'll always stay true to you. I think I've proved that- and believe me, you made it VERY hard at times, both hairstyle-wise and musically.
Really glad you're back. See you on Valentines Day.