Nearly impossible to forget about genre-splitting voice of Conor Oberst, but it's been a while since Bright Eyes was the project mentioned along with him. Last year, an initial track from new album The People's Key called "Shell Games" started making the rounds, and today the rest of the album is up for perusal at NPR. Great material to gear up for the tour-launching show at Fillmore Miami on March 2.
The imagery is his most evocative ("A snuff film on a jumbotron for all the world to see," from "Beginner's Mind"), there are some trippy sci-fi voice-overs from a guy named Denny Brewer, Oberst's voice is strong, and backing by Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis provides a galactic sort of Americana that sounds like it's everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
One track named after the great Ethiopian leader Haile Selassie AKA Ras Tafari Makonnen AKA Jah, is not a reggae song stylistically, but it's one of many belief-based meditations on the album.
Oberst spoke about the track to John Norris for Interview:
OBERST: I liked the idea of having a record that's reggae-influenced but
not musically. You know, just lyrically. I think there's so much about
Rasta culture that's interesting. Just the idea of preaching oneness,
that we're all in this together. Which I suppose is at the root of most
any religion. You're gonna find it, if taken in the right context.
Bright Eyes. 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Fillmore Miami Beach, 1700
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Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets cost