Not out until March, this has already leaked onto some bitchy little website my boyfriend goes on. Normally I'm not one to download things before they come out (I'm a bit anal like that) but March?! I'm not waiting that long.
So I downloaded it. And yes, I shall purchase, because I purchase every scrap Conor (or Mozza) throws out there. Other people have to prove their mettle. These don't.
1. Four Winds.
I had already heard Four Winds, I have a live version from the Bonnaroo festival. I have also heard a song off the new album 'Soul Singer in a Session band' which is very much of this ilk. The country-folk ilk. Which is OK.
Listen: I'm Wide Awake It's Morning has three of my very favourite songs on it; We Are Nowhere, Old Soul Song and Road to Joy. They are moving and gorgeous. But Digital Ash has SEVEN of my favourite songs on it. Digital Ash is an amazing album: not the electronic beepy, unlistenable techno direction people would lie to you about. The strings on 'I Believe in Symmetry' are unbelievable. This album had more soul than any Bright Eyes album. Truly, the lyrics mean everything to me, and the tunes are just beautiful. It doesn't need a harmonica. True it didn't need the baby crying sound effects, but you know what he's like. He likes to subvert a little.
Anyhoo, I digress. Four Winds is 'Wide Awake' territory. Un-subverting. Conor seems to have embraced his country side, which is a shame as he'll be OLD for a long time! He can sit on a bale of hay when he's fifty! Conor, you're the same age as me. I want more songs about childhood memories, drugs, broken hearts, parties, cars, dead relatives. I don't like trumpets. I do like folky stuff. I like some folky stuff. But I prefer beats. I prefer ROCK if anything. Nothing beats a Conor out-of-tune scream. See: A Line Allows Progress... See: No Lies, Just Love. Do MANIC DEPRESSION. Do raw anger. Don't do sitting on your rocking chair in your porch. Or not as much, anyway. Please...?
Actually, I quite like Four Winds. It's quite catchy. But it doesn't MEAN much. I sat salivating downloading this EP because Conor MEANS everything. He is bigger than an entire genre of music. He means as much as Morrissey to me and my boyfriend. He held together a large part of our relationship. We love him. Whatever he does, we'll love him.
2. Reinvent the Wheel
Perhaps I'll actually review this track rather than just rambling uncontrollably about his back catalogue and my relationship. This is my favourite song off the EP and even this has a fucking harmonica in it. Don't hate on me, I like Rilo Kiley! I like folky stuff. But Christ. I get the idea.
However, this song is also very poppy, almost a bit 80s in feel in parts. The lyrics seem to have some meaning. I can see this being a big grower. Thank God! A good Bright Eyes song is like a best friend, you know you can turn to it again and again. It means something. It's continuously relevant. That's what I hope about this song. Although it's a bit short!
3. Smoke Without Fire
This sounds like Conor doing an impression of some old cowboy. Conor is not an old cowboy. He's a precocious, slightly jug-eared indie boy. Therefore I can't believe in it. I also hate all of his guest singers. All of them! I won't be swayed. Next!
4. Stray Dog Freedom
'Let's have a nice clean cut. Like a bag we buy and divvy up'. Perhaps an idea not to nick lyrics from songs that are better than this one for the title. Because I just start thinking about how good that song is, and I can't think about anything else. The guitar in this song is just AWFUL. I call it a 'wank guitar'. My boyfriend called it a '70s guitar'. I could tell he was none too impressed either. God that guitar is really bad. This song is really long as well. Why go backwards? Go forwards, Conor! No really. GO.
5. Cartoon Blues
Aha... I think we may have another grower on our hands. This is fast-paced, reminding me a little of 'The Calendar Hung itself...' I wasn't sure at first but I've listened to it three times now and it's getting warmer... do i like the weird robot/child/cartoon voice backing vocals? Yeah why not. At least it's not an effing harmonica.
6. Tourist Trap
This is one of those dreary Bright Eyes songs that my boyfriend likes, the ones that sound more like Death Cab For Cutie. What is the most overrated Bright Eyes song of all time? First day of My Life, of course. It's too easy. Just work for it a little more. He's going on about dogs again. What is it with the dogs? Who cares! he's chewing a bit of straw again. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
So how dare I complain? Six tracks, two months early, great quality. I will complain because it is my human right! And I am a bitch!
I love it really. I will play all these tracks until my last.fm explodes.
I can't hide it. I love Bright Eyes. I'd listen to him read a shopping list if he did it in a cute little whiny voice. I can't wait for the album. I can't wait to see them live again. This is a good year. Just give me one little track with beats, Conor! Go hang out with The Faint or something. Please?