Local Wire

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes' latest effort, Cassadaga, takes its name from a psychic community. The first voice you hear as the orchestra makes like "Revolution 9" is a clairvoyant going on about centers of energy, and there are references to cleansing and communing with the dead. Although there's nothing here as obviously anti-Bush as you might have expected out of Conor Oberst since Vote For Change and confronting Jay Leno's America with a scathing rendition of "When the President Talks to God," he hasn't turned his back completely on current events in favor of easier New Age solutions. The opening track, "Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)," may take its title from clairvoyants, but it also features references to Holy Wars, the "freedom-fighting simulcast" and those who still think God is keeping score, while in the Springsteen-flavored "Four Winds," he imagines no religion and heads off to "old Dakota where a genocide sleeps in the Black Hills." For the most part, though, he does more searching here than finger-pointing, staring down an existential crisis at the ripe old age of 27.
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Ed Masley