The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Bright Eyes The People’s Key


By Casey Holder/reporter

Farewell, Bright Eyes, and thank you for one last dance.

The famous rock-folk trio from Omaha, Neb., debuted its seventh and final studio album last month.

The People’s Key shows a clear departure from the big down-home Americana sound and feel achieved in 2007’s Cassadega as well as frontman Conor Oberst’s other projects with The Mystic Valley Band and Monsters of Folk.

In Bright Eyes tradition, the album opens with an awkward recording of dialogue.

This time, it’s a far-fetched sermon from a no-name Texas musician Randy Brewer.

“I bought a grey macaw, named him Jules Verne,” opens Oberst in sharp contrast to the nonsense of Brewer’s rant. “He’ll probably outlive me. He’s a bright bird.”

There is a definite sense of modernism found in both the sharp use of mystic science fiction imagery as well as the return to the electric-indie sound that fans remember from 2005’s Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.

“I’ve seen the show, man, what a sight,” sings Oberst. “Drenched us in approximated sunlight. The crowd was small and mostly blind, but kind, you’re too kind.”

The album is tight and, from a technical aspect, perfect. Oberst’s songwriting is on par with past efforts.

The strongest tracks on the album “Ladder Song” and “Approximate Sunlight” both derive their power from the impact of Oberst’s cutting lyrics.

“I’m out of breath. I better sit,” he sings. “Been living hard. Living.”

Bright Eyes’ final album isn’t its best, but it’s still Bright Eyes.

It’s a strong, cohesive, beautiful album and a worthy farewell to such a legendary tenure.

“Don’t hang around when the promise breaks,” warns Oberst. “You’ll be there when the next one is made.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian