#10 – Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
Conor Obrest is perhaps the best example of artists who is maturing before our very eyes. Cassadaga marked Obrest’s transition into sobriety and exploration of life. The album’s sound is fuller and at times, more uplifting than past Bright Eyes’ albums. What more, Obrest gives his best vocal performance to date on the album. Gone is the whining and complaining, replaced with soul searching and questioning. For awhile, Obrest has been considered today’s generation best lyricist, our modern day version of Bob Dylan. In Cassadaga, Obrest improves on the aspect of his sound that always seemed to be a bit weak – the overall musicality of his band. What resulted was the band’s most talented and developed sound ever. Add this to the continued exemplary song-writing of Obrest, and you have Bright Eyes most ingenius work yet.
On Cassadaga, Obrest questions nearly every component of our lives. From politics to religion, nothing is spared by the former child prodigy. Yet, instead of overshadowing the album like they have in the past, the vocals of Obrest blend with each melody. Despite the despair, the loneliness, and the tangents, Obrest delivers a folk rock album that is both musically beatiful and full of meaning. And as a result, Obrest has essentially transformed into the voice of a generation. In the same way as Dylan, Young, Bragg, and Springsteen, Obrest has learned to use the expression of both music and words to convey the thoughts and opinions we all hold at one point or another.
Buy the album on Amazon.com