Now it can be said:
- Those of you who enjoyed the new Titus Andronicus record — which should be all of you, as it’s really good — would do well to reconsider the Bright Eyes records Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (and maybe the rest of the oeuvre; I couldn’t say). At the time of their release, I can’t recall any friends saying anything even vaguely nice about these albums, with two exceptions: 1) Lindsay expressed delight at the phrase “hoodie-clad trim”, which I suppose doesn’t really count, and b) Susan agreed with me that they were good and hey maybe all this NEXT DYLAN BUSINESS was maybe not so crazy, potentially? No: probably it was crazy! But pause for a moment and consider that, statistically speaking, Susan is almost certainly both smarter AND deadlier than you. Then reflect on whether you have given Conor Oberst a fair shake or whether you have discriminated against him just because he has so many feelings. Or because he was overhyped, or because his fanbase uses strange social networking sites that confuse and terrify you.Get past that. They’re good albums, is what I’m trying to say, with timbre, cadence and emotional content similar to the Titus album. Worth a shot.
- On Monday I listened, for the first time in at least half a decade, to the high points of the first big-hit Everclear LP. You know what? It holds up. This was not actually a surprise to me: I have been an apologist for Sparkle & Fade and So Much For the Afterglow for years now (the other albums: emphatically not). What was surprising: this is an alt-country album! Sort of, anyway. The guitar work is a bit too clean, and there’s nobody playing pedal steel while chain-smoking. But try listening to the phrasing of the songs on S&E with the words “Son Volt” in your mind; I think you might be surprised. And anyway albums about heroin always tend to punch above their weight. Reconsider.