News » San Antonio News

Bright Eyes: The People's Key

Bright Eyes: The People's Key
Label: Saddle Creek
Release Date: 2011-02-23
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

I almost didn’t listen to the new (and supposedly final) Bright Eyes record, The People’s Key. Not because I got distracted by the new Radiohead album, but because the first track, “Firewall,” begins with a truly irritating “sermon” by Texas musician Denny Brewer about Eden and evil reptiles who try to mate with humans. (Favorite quote: “The women would die, the babies would abort.” Blurgh.) I’ve been told this is a bit of dramatic scene-staging, as Conor Oberst is known for — a necessary set-up for the sci-fi-tinged, apocalypse-minded lyrics to come. OK, fine. I was rewarded for getting past the opener with the extremely likable dance-pop of “Shell Games” and “Jejune Stars” (which ends up marred at the end by another inane voiceover). Thankfully, Oberst has outgrown his Americana phase. All the rootsiness of his Mystic Valley Band has been ironed out and replaced with jittery pop-rock energy. If only there was a way to sustain it. By the final track, Oberst sounds as overwrought and whiny (albeit lyrically clever) as he ever did.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.