Bright Eyes Part 2

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Okay, I listened to Digital Ash in a Digital Urn. I was under the impression that this was Oberst’s stab at electronica, but I was wrong. Yeah, there are a lot of electronic elements (drum machines, etc), but Digital Ash is closer to I’m Wide Awake or Lifted than it is to electronica. It lacks the subtle layering that makes good electronic music interesting. It also lacks the coldness of electronic music, or rather it has a very different kind of coldness. Electronica is the coldness of concrete and steel, of binary code and circuit boards. It’s the coldness of reaching out and touching something cold and metal. It makes you foget that you’re living and breathing and organic. Bright Eyes’ coldness is more like the coldness of the homeless. It’s the coldness that clings to you on a cold, damp morning. It’s the coldness that we know only because we are alive. This album is more like an indie/folk/emo album with a drum machine. And it’s not new ground for Oberst, he’s done it before, but he does it very well. While I’m Wide got the great reviews, Digital Ash is a much more accessible album. Oberst actually sings alright at times on this one. He doesn’t rely strictly on the whiney, broken voice that permeates I’m Wide Awake. Sometimes it almost has a pop feel, without abandoning its emotional depth. Digital Ash is a more consistent album and has a better chance of bringing Oberst’s music to a broader audience.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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