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Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 July 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor Group
  • ASIN: B00006BCPS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,710 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

BRIGHT EYES The Story Is In The Soil Keep Your Ear To The Ground (2002 UK 13-track CD album including The Big Picture Method Acting & Lets Not Shit Ourselves [To Loved And To Be Loved] picture sleeve in slim jewel case inside card slipcase WEBB034)

Amazon.co.uk

Conor Oberst, aka Bright Eyes, has a reputation for being wordy, but the 14-word title of his fifth album sure takes the cake. This fresh-faced Nebraskan songwriter, you see, is keen to prove he is one of a kind. While his Bright Eyes project clearly follows in the vague lineage of leftfield rock nom de plums like Palace Brothers or Smog, where those outfits possess a kind of mystic elusiveness, Oberst has made a career of pouring forth words like a god-fearing adolescent at his first confessional. The Story Is in the Soil... is often wilfully scrappy: with studio conversations and the sound of whirring tape reels left in, often, it appears there’s no such thing as an out-take in Bright Eyes’ swollen musical vocabulary. But Oberst undoubtedly possesses a rare and raw talent. Straining his vocal chords like a precocious youngster mock-flexing his muscles, he tears through a canon of staggeringly deft musical arrangements that constantly veer from joyful marching anthems ("From a Balance Beam") to desolate lullabies (‘False Advertising’), dragging you powerfully in their wake. It’s hard to digest it all in one sitting, but if you’re into indie-rock and you’ve not experienced Bright Eyes in full, tearful flow, you’re surely missing something. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This was the first Bright Eyes record I heard and I was simply blown away. For years I was ploughing my way through hours and hours of music, never realising that this was the album I was looking for. The lyrics are breathtaking and the music, though understated, is nothing short of epic (and not in a prog rock way!!!). A word of warning however. This album is not for easy listening and those music listeners who prefer not to think too much about their music should look away now, it takes a good few listens to really begin to appreciate Conor Oberst's lyrics. But when you do begin to recognise and understand the messages coming from these songs you'll understand why many people (myself included) believe this man to be the best song writer in the world today, perhaps the best ever. There can be no stand-out songs from an album where your favourite is usually the last one you heard, but if you want to try before you buy, then listen to "Lover I Don't Have to Love", "Lets Not S**t Ourselves" and "Bowl of Oranges" to get the full picture. Buy this album. You haven't lived until you've heard it.
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Format: Audio CD
On first listen, do not be put off by the quirky intro, the unpolished recording and the echoed-voice that sounds more like a cassette than a cd. It appears that Conor Oberst uses this to add sincerity to an already convincing album, at the risk of immediately losing any form of mainstream audience. Unlike the moody, reclusive album 'Fevers and Mirrors', 'Lifted...' at times finds Conor and his collection of musicians in a slightly more upbeat state of mind (to write 'happy' would be too exagerated and too offensive a word). British fans might like to know that song 'Bowl of Oranges' is said to be a favourite of artist Ed Harcourt, and this track would certainly come under the list of songs instantly accessible along with 'You will. you' and 'Waste of paint'. However it is songs such as 'Lover i dont have to love'(displaying a dark repressed atmosphere similar to 'sunrise, sunset' from the 'Fevers and mirrors' album) where Oberst truly demonstrates his versatile emotions ranging from ambivolence, to depression to anger. Fans of Bright Eyes will know this already, and agree that for it to be categorized in the genre 'alt country' would be too dismissive of the Dylan-esque songs produced. Having done so myself, i would advise newcomers to listen to this album first as it is (though only slightly) more accessible than his previous albums that prefered to settle on one state of mind. At times it can be a challenge to listen to, which arguably isnt a bad thing in an era of insincere solo artists sticking to a similar formula.
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Format: Audio CD
Well, here's a rum one. Lifted is a defiantly uncommercial album, almost wilfully so, and yet it's awash with great melodies and quality music. Not that you'd know it from the harsh, unfocussed blues of the opening track, The Big Picture, that almost sounds like it's still a demo - only almost though. Like a lot of the album, Oberst appears to have a purpose in recording the way he does, an understanding of the way his songs sound best, and his mature, expressive vocals and his intricate, intelligent and often confessional lyrics are best supported by the space this approach affords them.
Actually, it's where the sounds is more layered, such as the rockier Method Acting and the string backed False Advertising, that the album falters slightly, drained of it's power by returning it toward the mainstream.
Musically, Lifted reminds me of a number of acts. Springsteen's Nebraska and Ghost of Tom Joad can be heard in the quieter moments, Bob Dylan in the bluesy rambles. The poppier moments are reminiscent of World Party and earlier Waterboys tracks, and many of the tracks carry the tortured, doomed air of Nick Cave's ballads. Throughout, Oberst has the same purposeful contempt for popular convention that Blur showed on 13 and the Blur album. In many ways, the deeply personal lyrics share the same sort of world-weariness Springsteen has when he isn't singing about cars and girls, mixed with the confused confessional air of Cave.
The finest moments? They come in the middle, with the the powerful Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come, and Nothing Gets Crossed Out, which sounds like Low would if they turned their amps up. I can't see this appealing to everyone, but if you like the acts mentioned above, or lo-fi Indie stuff, or fancy finding out what Spiritualised would sound like if they pared their sound right down, there are many many worse choices out there.
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By A Customer on 7 Dec. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Wilfully lo-fi in places (strange choice for the opener I thought) - gloriously lush in others - full of wonderful melodies and a real sense of joy in the playing from the ensemble.
Bewildering on first listen but I promise you just gets better and better with every play.
As for Mr Oberst - he can now hold a tune - bit more discipline where vocal rawness (and wilful screaming) took the edge off some of the promising stuff on earlier albums - though Fevers and Mirrors is also well worth exploring.
Prone to uncontrollable attacks of spleen on previous albums he's got it right here - a little overlong and wordy at times ( but hey check out first Springtseen album and early Dylan) and without doubt a gift for lyric and melody - halfway way down the line to genius.
Frequently inspiring - a must for serious music fans into any of indie/classic rock/pop/folk/and alt country.
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