Photography by Harleen…
Someone once told me that Bright Eyes done broke up. I shrugged. I liked Bright Eyes fine, but I also liked his various solo stuff that was showing up, and figuring that Oberst hasn’t hung up his geetar for good, I didn’t really think much of it after that. But then suddenly there was a song that showed up, word of an album, then BLAMO fire & brimstone shows up on the intertubals and I was blown away…..
This is not a repeated-listening in one sitting type of album, like Hazards Of Love by our faves The Decemberists, this is more like a movie than an album. Our opening scene is quasi-religious meets sci-fi meets nut job sermon-of-sorts talking about time, universes, Sumerians, the bible, reptile aliens fucking slave humans to create counter-clockwise dimension-hopping babies… and Hitler.
Then the music starts… No, he’s not singing about the reptilian aliens or Hitler (as far as I can tell), but the mood, the movie’s aesthic, has been set, there’s a layer of darkness and wtf-ness that sits on top of even the poppiest songs on the album.
Periodically, our sermon on the mount shows up again, keeping us grounded in Oberst’s fire.
As much as I like the individual songs just fine, the album works best as an album. If I can’t listen to the whole thing, I find I don’t want to listen to it at all. That sounds like a bad thing, but it’s not. The same was true of Hazards Of Love. It was all or nothing. Yeah, sure, there was a song or two that fit on a mixtape or two, but really my preferred method of ingestion was every. single. course.
Yeah, I just dipped from movie analogies to food. Shake n’ bake, baby!
NOTE: Speaking of Shake N’ Bake… just made some for Baby & I the other night. First time in, what? 20? 30 years? since I’ve had it. Quite delicious! Quite delicious indeedy…
Anywhosals… Get this and enjoy. It’s really amazing….
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
While we are at it… some old Bright Eyes