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Cassadaga CD (2007)

Artist: Bright Eyes

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Product Overview

If I'm Wide Awake... was "the New York City album", then Cassadaga is "the America album", in which Conor Oberst diaries his travels around the country and articulates his sense of history in the landscape. In first single "Four Winds" he is "off to old Dakota where genocide sleeps/in the Black Hills, the Badlands, the calloused East/I buried my ballast, I made my peace." Cassadaga itself crops up in the same song. The town, a community for psychics in central Florida, is visited in order to "commune with the dead". This wandering spirit is crystalized in "I Must Belong Somewhere" a song which was already a staple of live shows by the end of the 2005. "Hot Knives" is particularly spirited, bringing to mind the true energy of a Bright Eyes show. Likewise, "Soul Singer in a Session Band" - a rousing paean to an oxymoronic profession - enlists all of the elements which make the Bright Eyes live band such a euphoric experience. "Make a Plan to Plan to Love Me" is Bright Eyes at their most playful; a straight-up love song, replete with girl group vocals and Burt Bacharach strings. Oberst, the fumbling guitarist whose impassioned prose tumbles out under stark stage spotlights, is still recognizable in every track, but the songs are rich with elaborate production, cinema-sized orchestration and, at times, sprawling, almost psychedelic, atmospherics.

Specifications

Label Saddle Creek
SKU 204220859
UPC 648401010329
UPC 14 00648401010329
Format CD
Release Date 4/10/2007
Links
Author Bright Eyes
Credits
Featuring Andy Lemaster
Featuring Ben Kweller
Featuring Conor Oberst
Featuring David Rawlings
Featuring Gillian Welch
Featuring Janet Weiss
Featuring Jason Boesel
Featuring John McEntire
Featuring M. Ward
Featuring Maria Taylor
Featuring Rachael Yamagata
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass Conor Oberst
Banjo, Mandolin, Guitars Mike Mogis
Organ, Trumpet, Accordion Nate Walcott
Artist Bio
Bright EyesOnce tagged "rock's boy genius" by the music press, Conor Oberst turned 27 on February 15th and even without that in mind it's hard to listen to Cassadaga without hearing a newfound sophistication to the Bright Eyes sound. Producer, multi-instrumentalist and permanent band member Mike Mogis has crafted a swirling, euphonious record, at times bursting with bombastic confidence and country swagger, and at others loose-limbed and mesmeric. Trumpet and piano player Nate Walcott, a Bright Eyes player since 2003 and now the third permanent member, is responsible for the cinematic string arrangements.Other than a handful of live appearances and the release of a collection of B-sides & rarities, Bright Eyes kept mostly out of sight in 2006 after the busy 2005 which saw the simultaneous release of the sister albums Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. Should you have looked for them you'd have found them tucked away in various studios around the country. Recording for the first time outside of the Lincoln, NE studio belonging to Mogis, the Bright Eyes cast of players were busy in studios in Portland, OR, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. The result is the band's most confident work so far, an album so full of soaring strings and female harmonies that it feels almost buoyant in comparison to previous releases. While many latched onto the smattering of political commentary in 2005's I'm Wide Awake..., Cassadaga is less blunt in its depiction of youthful exasperation in the Bush era. References to Hurricane Katrina, holy wars and polar ice-caps may crop up, but they're buried deep amongst the ruminations on life, love, history, death and the afterlife.
Reviews
ReviewSource Rolling Stone
Review {With] remarkable love songs....[Oberst] shows he can still tell us something by communing with himself
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Spin
Review Oberst's countryish genre studies have deepened with a very adult loneliness.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Entertainment Weekly
Review Musically, it's his richest album yet, full of Nashville twang and Branson brassiness. And lyrically, the itinerant-traveler conceit is intriguing... Grade: B
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer
ReviewRating 0
ReviewSource Los Angeles Times
Review Bright Eyes' eighth album is named for a Florida town that attracts psychics the way Cancun draws college kids, and the first voice on the record is that of a clairvoyant speaking amid a swirl of orchestral fragments about "getting rid of the old feelings, of the old ways of thinking"...Her words set in motion a journey of purification that anchors this ambitious album (in stores Tuesday), sending singer-songwriter Conor Oberst, his two bandmates and guests, including M. Ward and Gillian Welch, on an American sojourn, in the shadow of holy war and under the scowl of a poisoned sky...The music doesn't always live up to the demands of the journey, but Oberst's trembling, vulnerable voice carries through to a rewarding conclusion. Ultimately, his embrace of the crackpot seers of Cassadaga becomes an act of defiance, an affirmation that in a world up for grabs, vortexes and crop circles make as good a road map as anything.
ReviewDate
ReviewPage
Reviewer Richard Cromelin
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Artist Bright Eyes
Label Sadlecreek Records
Music Format Compact Disc
Quotes
Alternative Press [With] ambitious string arrangements and swinging instrumentation that echo great '70s works by Joe Cocker and Elton John.
MusicOMH.com ...everything [Oberst's] fans would expect from him - mournful, moody and full of lovely melodies.
PopMatters ...an assured and accomplished album; a classic constructed from classic elements.
Under The Radar More sonically and lyrically ambitious than 2005's I'm Wide Awake...Oberst's most affecting and challenging full-length to date...

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