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Bright Eyes-- Not So Bright? / (TV) Sampled Telev: is this possible?
> I don't think I can confirm it. It just sounded very familiar though. I
>don't even know the name of the song just the artist (Bright Eyes) and the
>album (Digital Ash in a Digital Urn)
Far from being the second coming of Dylan, Oberst is as precious as Paul
Simon, but without any sense of rhyme or meter or gift for imagery, puking
out lines filled with cheap metaphors and clumsy words that don't scan.
Supporters excuse this as soul-searching, but the heavy-handed pretension in
the words and the affectedness in his delivery give the whole enterprise a
sense of phoniness that's only enhanced by its unadorned production.
When Oberst was swallowed in the deliberate grandeur of Lifted, his drama
queen theatrics fit the music, but here, they expose him for the shallow
poseur he is. As the record winds down, it's clear that Bright Eyes is
little more than a pretty boy in a sweater who's idea of being clever is
***appropriating Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" for "Road to Joy" - a move that
makes you grateful that Billy Joel at least knew enough Beethoven to steal a
lesser-known melody*** for "This Night" (and, being the stand-up guy that he
is, Billy gave him a co-writing credit, something Conor doesn't do here).
Digital Ash in a Digital Urn suffers from nearly all the same flaws as its
companion. The music still serves as little more than a vehicle for Oberst's
tortured prose. Here, the lines are clipped instead of languid as they are
on I'm Wide Awake, but instead of scaling back his words and sharpening his
attack, he piles on even more words, littering the songs with awkward
illusions and clunky couplets.
Ultimately, it's hard not to feel that this album is little more than a
blatant attempt to ape the Postal Service's Give Up, right down to Jimmy
Tamborello's appearance halfway through the LP. ****Not that rip-offs are
necessarily a bad thing*** but since Oberst lacks the most basic musical
skill, which is to know how to make music sound good on a sheer sonic level,
Digital Ash collapses in a mess of preening pretension.
And don't chalk up its weakness to youth, either, or suggest that he'll get
better with age. Paul McCartney was 22 at the height of Beatlemania. At the
age of 23, Dylan made Bringing It All Back Home, Neil Young released
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Jackson Browne cut his debut. Kurt
Cobain was 24 when Nirvana recorded Nevermind, the same age Conor Oberst was
when he released the pair of albums that prove without a shadow of a doubt
that instead of reaching musical maturity, he's wallowing in a perpetual
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 1:03 PM
Subject: RE: (TV) Sampled Tele: is this possible?
>Hi Leo. I don't think I can confirm it. It just sounded very familiar
>though. I don't even know the name of the song just the artist (Bright
>Eyes) and the album (Digital Ash in a Digital Urn) . It is possible ,I
>think, that a snip of Televison was used ,but I think it's just as possible
>that it was my imagination getting the best of me. If Television was used
>in this manner, I guess I think great ! But I hope they had permission in
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