I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
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Conor Oberst proves that you don't need a multinational record company to create a lot of hype. Still, Bright Eyes occupying both numbers one and two in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles sales chart is somewhat surprising. I'm Wide Awake It's Morning is full of promising starts that go nowhere. Some good lyrics looking for a song, or even a melody, by a man who thinks pathos is drinking wine from the neck...
"Lua" is the most successful song on the album. Its simplicity of lyric and production, featuring just voice and guitar, brings a poignancy that's sadly absent elsewhere on the record.
On the whole, Oberst's voice and lyrics tend to leave the listener a little cold, the worst culprit being the hackneyed protest dirge "Land Locked Blues". Is it a love song, an anti-Bush rant, obtuse, clichéd or all of these? Even Emmylou Harris' vocal doesn't save the day.
The band handle the folk and country themes very nicely, especially Mike Mogis' soaring pedal steel on "Old Soul Song" and "Train Underwater". Unfortunately, "At The Bottom Of Everything" and "Another Travelling Song" tend to sound like pastiches.
The problem with Oberst is not the fact that he's a dullard but a dullard who's been told he's clever. This is a man so prolific he has to release two albums (the other being Digital Ash In A Digital Urn) simultaneously, when there is barely enough decent material for one. Although Digital Ash... has a different treatment altogether, the same problems exist; it goes nowhere.
At his best, he sounds a little like Beck at his worst. After listening to this record you'll realise that drinking, nihilism and soured relationships don't seem so interesting or, for that matter, entertaining. --Darren Overs Pearson
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Top Customer Reviews
The album, like Fevers and Mirrors, begins with a short monologue, this time about a woman on a plane travelling to meet her fiancé when the engines give out. Oberst's frantic delivery and the sentiment behind the scenario are quite heartbreaking - whilst the subconscious allusions to those that would have been stranded on the doomed September 11th flights and the final thoughts that must have been running through their minds ("we love you very, very, very, very, very, very much") can't help but send a shiver down your spine - before Oberst finally breaks into song and the album takes off.Read more ›
All of the songs are filled with so much feeling-on 'First Day of my Life', his voice breaks so much in places it sounds as if he is about to start crying, and you can't help but join him.
I feel that I can relate to almost every song on here, and have been listening to it on repeat since I bought it.
On the first listen you realise how speacial is it, then become hooked from there on in.
The only song I'm not that keen on is the last one, 'Road to Joy,' as it's too disjointed. The rest of the album is so perfect in every way-the harmonies, beautiful guitar playing, Conor's voice-that this can be forgiven.
If you don't have this album, buy it now, and tell everyone you know (and everyone you don't) about this beautiful, tortured soul.
'At the Bottom Of Everything' is the opening song on the album and seeks to initiate a change in the monotony of life and to encourage the listener to make a difference. The standout song on this album is 'Lua', which to this day after 149 plays on my iPod still invokes a wave of calm upon me. All thoughts leave, and I am left in awe of such a bare and stark display of love, though the object of this love may be different to the one Oberst originally fell for. To compliment this song is the equally light 'First Day Of My Life'. Differing to 'Lua' in that the love does not fall apart, it details quite what love can make you do, from driving through the night to meet someone to following someone anywhere they wanted just so that they can be happy, even if you are not.
The change from song to song, and the balancing of light songs with heavier ones is an extra aspect where this album succeeds, with just the right tone found.
Overall, in my opinion this is one of the best albums since 2000.Read more ›
The album provides the perfect marriage between soulful acoustics, beautiful melodies, subtle arrangements (check out the brass section on Landlocked Blues) and lyrics which will make you sit up and listen. Indeed, it is the lyrics which will perhaps leave a lasting impression, but i'll let you decide for yourself.
With Emmylou Harris lending vocal support on a number of tracks, the album achieves a wonderful depth of feeling, sincerity and melancholy. If Bob Dylan had made this album, it would be considered to be amongst his best. You can't give an album higher praise than that.
Buy this album and play it often. There is something new each time you listen. Music made like this is about as good as it gets and the album warrants every one of its five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like pretty much everyone else, I don't buy too many CDs any more. I came across this album on a streaming service and after two listens decided it had to be in the permanent... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Conor