on 1 June 2006
I am a firm believer that records should not sound over produced and filled with sounds that a really not necessary. This record totally fulfills this idea, the first song 'If Winter ends' is effortlessy sweet and bursting with emotion but still has this raw sound to it that characterises this record. 'Letting Off The Happiness' was Conor's first major release and marks a section of his career whee his youth perfectly balance his music, I can relate to a lot of the songs on this record, it really documents life in a town where sometimes life just isn't what it should be.
The arrangements are quite fantastic on this record, you really get a healthy dose of what can happen when you combine the recording vision of Mike Mogis and the song writing effervescence of Conor Oberst.
This record is an excellant starting point for listening to Bright Eyes but, it's a record that really is one of the best he has recorded despite the perhaps more developped Conor we see in the latest releases. This record is ESSENTIAL and with out doubt holds it's own with the new material.
on 1 July 2001
Not having heard any of the other Bright Eyes (the brainchild of Conor Oberst) albums (yet) I was ...pleased to discover how enjoyable this album is. Starting with the first song that manages to mirror the building frustration of the lyrics in the mounting intensity of the music, continuing with the harrowing second song (whose haunting lyrics begin with "i had a brother once, he drowned in a bathtub before he had ever learned how to talk") and following through to the very last track this is a collection of beautiful, intelligent, heartfelt songs that leave you emotinally drenched, but happy at having had the experience.