I’d always heard such great things about Bright Eyes, but I’ve never been able to allow myself to get into them. I think it had something to do with reading how great Conor Oberst was. I don’t remember what I was reading. Maybe it was Spin or Time. I’m almost certain it was one of those “one to watch in the new millennium” pieces in 1999. Regardless, it declared Oberst as the second coming, probably of Bob Dylan. He was hailed as the Neo of music—he was going to be the one to save it.
Now, I’m not saying that I consciously wrote him and the group off at that point, but I’m sure that on some level I did. I find that things rarely live up to the hype. The Simpsons Movie lived up to the promise of the big screen, but not the hype. So it wasn’t like I was purposely avoiding Bright Eyes, I just never went out of my way to check them out.
But leave it to Paste to slip one by me. I put a couple of the Paste samplers on my iPod and I found that there were some songs that I really gravitated toward. One of those was “Four Winds” by Bright Eyes.
I don’t know why I dig it. Actually, I do. I dig the country violins at the beginning of the song. They instantly grabbed my attention. And I kind of like Oberst’s voice. On “Four Winds” he sounds forceful and vulnerable at the same time—it’s an interesting texture.
I’m not going to go out and jump headfirst into Bright Eyes’ catalogue, as the song’s not all that impressive. But if I should ever get a recommendation from someone to try out a song or album, I’d almost certainly do it.
Wow. I really am growing.