I know that the splintered voice of Conor Oberst isn’t for everyone, but for those who’ve felt the warmth from the moans of Fevers & Mirrors, the happy-sad feeling of Lifted, the somewhat conditioned disappointment of Cassadaga, this is big news.
It seems, to my heart’s content (and to that of many others), Oberst still hasn’t gotten his fill from the Mystic Valley Band, nor from his ferociously folk counterparts. So with this, the heard-about-but-never-seen Yeti of a Bright Eyes album now has a concrete release date!
Oberst rounds up a few old faces, longtime band mate Nathaniel Walcott and producer (as well as a fellow MOF member) Mike Mogis to bring us (drum roll…) _The People’s Key. _It’s Bright Eyes’ seventh studio album and will be available February 15, 2011.
Here’s the track list… I never really understood why this is important to include so prematurely, but when you got the goods, show ‘em.
The People’s Key
2. Shell Games
3. Jejune Stars
4. Approximate Sunlight
5. Haile Selassie
6. A Machine Spiritual (In the People’s Key)
7. Triple Spiral
8. Beginner’s Mind
9. Ladder Song
10. One for You, One for Me
But the question that still remains… is this a revival or the last song?
Oberst has spoken rather ominously in the past couple of years about the future of Bright Eyes. In 2009, he told the Omaha World Herald that he had one more Bright Eyes album left in him and aimed for a 2010 release. Rolling Stone also reported a somber, nostalgic Oberst who professed that all things come to an end.
Well, whatever this is, it’s certainly no quiet die down.
And if this truly is the final album, Oberst has crafted a nice lead-in to the end. Check out this track Bright Eyes put out for Sound Strike, a group of musicians banded together to battle Arizona’s immigration laws . “Coyote Song” is one of those sad, soft, and light songs that Bright Eyes does so well, and the twirling piano reminds me of “When the Curious Girls Realizes She’s Under Glass” from Fevers & Mirrors.