Me at Newbury Comics, like the best CD store ever: So do you have any Conor Oberst?
Really cool cashier dude: Hey, you mean the Conor Oberst-Bright Eyes or the Conor Oberst-Conor Oberst CDs?
Me: I was looking for Outer South.
Cashier: Oh yeah! (Excitedly whips it off the shelf right behind him) Yeah it's with this really cool new backing band called The Mystic Valley Band.
Me: (I knew this, but I decided to play along, just because he's such a nice guy) Really?
Cashier: (Getting very excited now) Yeah! And they all sing and write songs and stuff! (Almost jumping up and down at this point) Yeah and they recorded it (somewhere special or something, I forget), too!
Me: Wow! Sounds cool!
Cashier: It is!
Me: So is it any good?
Cashier: (Sighs, puts it down) Naaahh, not really.
Why did I decide to share this conversation with you? Well, because Mr. Cashier was right on. This album is different. Very different. I suppose if you really like Bright Eyes and Conor Oberst's solo, then you might not really like this one. I can't honestly say I'm cool enough to be a long term Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes fan, but I really like Digital Ash and his solo album, even though I got them a while after they came out. However, if you're like my mom, who just found out about him, and listened to Outer South and the solo album first, you probably won't like Bright Eyes. It's weird like that.
But to the album. Everybody sings, plays, and does something on almost every song. Yeah, they're really great musicians, but the songs all have similar things going on, if you know what I mean. But don't get me wrong. The songs are good and it's a pretty okay album. Sixteen songs is almost a little long, but it works. I think if we break it down:
Songs / Album: 2.5
Packaging: 1 (not in a stupid jewel case [normally earning higher marks] but the CD always gets stuck inside)
Coolness of New Backing Band Name: 3
Excellence of this review: .5
Pitchfork Media Rating Influence: 0
I think that comes to about 7 stars. About.