Bright Eyes – The People’s Key review

Posted on 14 February 2011
By Matt Barden
  • Share:

Try and imagine Cheryl Cole pondering life as hallucination or Lady Gaga debating the merits of spiritual redemption. It’s painful – no? Well Bright Eyes are back delivering Pop with a heavy dose of meaning.

The People’s Key is Bright Eyes’ latest, and rumoured last, offering from a career spanning 15 years.

Conor Oberst has been heralded as everything from the next Dylan to the greatest song writer of the last 20 years and he’s making it damn hard to shrug off the compliments.

The album is about time, the universe and our own existence. If Sartre and Camus had decided to record an album this would have been the result.

In between the lyrical density there are playful choruses (Jejune Stars and Halie Selaisse) that you will find yourself mouthing the words to long after you’ve put the iPod away and in this lies the brilliance of the album.

The message is deep and meaningful but it plays like a pop song (remember that moment when you were happily singing along to Nirvana’s Polly and you suddenly realised what it was about). Oberst has the gift of getting a song stuck in your head so that you have to listen to what he’s saying.

The lyrics are spot on, the music alive and vibrant and the whole is conceptually solid. Bright Eyes have at last created the complete album.

Hopefully it is not the last we hear from them but if it is this should be the album that puts Oberst under the burning spotlight of contemporary popular music.

The People’s Key is released for Valentines – 14th February