Review | Scales Always Find a Way to Level Out

Bright Eyes is, sometimes, my favorite band. It depends on when I'm asked and who asks me. Either way, they're up there and untouchable in my mind. I first heard of them from a friend I talked with through the internet. I finally heard them when browsing through my sister's plethora of MP3s on the family computer. They were the gateway band that led me to the wide, wide, world of independent music, a huge source of enjoyment in my everyday life. Just the amount of money this band has led me to spend on the genre -- damn. It was definitely life changing in many ways, and it feels great to claim that.

Back then, I had never heard arrangements so interesting & layered, or lyrics so moving & well-crafted. Every night, I laid down with my CD player under my pillow listening to these tracks. I was in awe of how well someone could say exactly what they wanted to in a song, yet still have it rhyme & fit the structure of the song. It was supernatural. It was someone speaking the language of songwriting so fluently that it was stunning.

Their latest full studio effort, Cassadaga (cah-suh-day-guh) , is just about to be released. Advanced copies & pre-orders have already reached the hands of their many fans, and reactions are leaning to one side: the bad side. The band has taken a turn for a more traditional country western/folk/americana sound. Gone are the introspective, moving, and maybe even whiny songs meant purely to express something for the sake of staying sane. In their place are extroverted, political, protest songs constructed for inspiring action, not navel-gazing.

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