- Audio CD (14 Feb. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Polydor
- ASIN: B004KUEGVU
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,703 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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The People's Key Import
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.Label: Polydor.Published: 2011/The People's Key' - das siebte Studioalbum der Band - ist der heißerwartete
Like many before him who achieved brilliance in popular songwriting, Conor Oberst changed, in 2007, to become a different artist. The great humanist of a generation didn’t write many songs that were about concrete human experiences anymore, but contemplated new-age spirituality and mysticism instead. The emotional intensity had disappeared, and the catatonic angst at the core of his being – which screamed out of key and out of tune on his earlier songs – was getting lost in his oblique new approach to songwriting. That phase started with Cassadaga, and has run through both albums with the Mystic Valley Band and Monsters of Folk. Like Dylan’s mid-60s period of surrealism, it was a big stylistic change that left a few people cold.
In 2011, Oberst is still releasing albums framed – like Cassadaga – by a lunatic’s sermon that doesn’t seem like it’s being used for the purposes of irony. The worry is that there is nothing in the songs to suggest that Oberst – like the great Scientologist, Beck – doesn’t embrace this stuff too. On the finer cuts, such as the title-track, a weird, mescaline-soaked narrative is woven through hallucinatory images of Americana. On the piano ballad Ladder Song, he laments, "I know when this world’s done / This world is an hallucination," which captures the new paradigm. But aside from a few moments of clarity – with references to pilgrims, the Queen of Sheba, and a host of grand allegorical images – the songs don’t really communicate much, other than some unspecified transition to a different place: physical, artistic or mental.
The vagueness of the lyrics doesn’t have to be a problem, of course, as Dylan showed on Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. But those records had rocking tunes. Back in 2003, Oberst could have sung Happy Birthday and made you weep. On 2002’s Lifted, the band sounded like the world was about to end and they were the only musicians worth listening to. But with his vocals still restrained and the band’s music only changing from gentle Americana to a slightly harder electric sound, The People’s Key doesn’t have as much to convince the listener to join Oberst on his journey.
--Lewis G. Parker
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Top Customer Reviews
The People's Key is a great album but this is nothing unusual, if you look back over his catalogue. Conor Oberst seems to just keep churning out fantastic music without too much effort. I own 26 of his releases to date but I think there are 29 in total. I have located the missing three online and will order them soon but just take a second to take that in... 29 releases, in his modest years that is just plain remarkable.
So is this release his best to date?
Well with questions like this, it comes down to opinion and as a better man than I once said "Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one!"
This is a great album, that's about as far as I will venture. As far as comparing it to any of the others, I couldn't pick a favourite really... In the same way that you couldn't pick a favourite child. I love them all!
As with most Bright Eyes releases, there is the strange introductions to get past. These are used to ward off any casual listeners. Most of these add a lot to the rest of the CD but I did find the introduction to this album a little less than great. It's just some guy rambling on about religion and the begining of the world. I am not religious and I did find this intro a little silly but taken with a pinch of salt, it won't cause any problems.
All in all a great release, a worthy addition to his collection and yet another example of the genius that is Conor Oberst!
|Length: 1:12 Mins|
The album features guest artists Andy LeMaster of Now It's Overhead, Matt Maginn of Cursive, Carla Azar of Autolux, Clark Baechle of The Faint, Shane Aspegren of The Berg Sans Nipple, Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds, and Denny Brewer of Refried Ice Cream. The lyrics make mention of Haile Selassie, the Lion of Judah and I and I, all symbols of Rastafariansim.
Opening with a spoken word intro on 'Firewall' and orchestral backing, with talk of history, evolution, space, science and spirits. The guy is Denny Brewer, I don't know any more about him, but he features throughout the album. After 2 mins a old wild west style guitar loop kicks in and conor's familiar vocals, more gentle than on previous albums, builds nicely with drums and ends up exploding into life. Beautiful opener of a song, mixing old and new sides of Bright Eyes. The loop reminds me of a song by 'Martin Grech' but that's the only similarity, worth a listen though as he is amazing too. Amazon don't have the song in question, but this one is in similar vain The Heritage
'Shell Games' is an upbeat song with guitar, synths and violin in tow. It's great to hear the positivity amongst conor's troubled musings.
'Jejune Stars' incredible song, again pretty upbeat, awesome song with furious electronic drum beats and bass sporadicaly throughout, ends with the chap who spoke at the start of first track 'Firewall'.Read more ›
It has a familiarity but also a freshness from their other albums.
It definitely grows on you as well. If you are unsure but liked their older albums I am pretty certain you will love this too.