[128] Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

18 Sep

I have been watching a loving bands like Bright Eyes in small venues with even smaller crowds for years.

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

So I want to like this, I really do.  The small budget sound, the faux-acoustic indie rock is intimately familiar in a way that takes a while for me to recognize – I may never have seen Bright Eyes in person, but I saw many truly similar acts who never received the attention and acclaim of this new millennium sensation.

Bright Eyes seems to have been selected almost arbitrarily as a placeholder for a genre, for a generation.

And this in the end is one reason I can’t bring myself to recommend . . . Wide Awake – how can I when I could be using this platform to highlight any number of others bands I followed devotedly for short periods of time?  (Usually he time it took for them to move away from New York, or break up, or both.)

There are so many more worthies I am sure Tom Moon has never heard of, with names like David Kirby, Todd Deatherage, Amplify,  More.

I am unsurprised that my most recent guest blogger has a powerful connection to these songs, this album – his own band (the aforementioned David Kirby) had a strikingly similar sound several years before . . . Wide Awake was released?

But Avi had something that Bright Eyes does not – an actual singing voice.

As I spend time with . . . Wide Awake I am put off by the weak wavering vocals and weird breathing placements, seemingly affected but more likely covering up a genuine lack of talent.  Unlike with other affected artists, rather than growing on me, I find myself growing more and more irritated.

. . . Wide Awake has that folk-rocking Americana sound that critics – including Moon (see Ryan Adams) – seem to love so much and which tends to leave me cold (see Ryan Adams . . .)

And then take the deeply meaningful, obviously important lyrics

We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul

or

My ashtray’s overflowing and I’m staring at a clean white page

The too simple naivete of youth is surely just too twee to be real, but I never catch the nod or the wink which would confirm this, so I am left with the depressing thought that every word is meant in the original, literal sense.

And it makes me want to throw something.

Not in a rock revolution, burn it all down, ACT UP kind of way.  More just general despair for humanity and the state of the world today.

Lawn.

Next Week: Benjamin Britten – Peter Grimes

Owned before blogging? No. (11 of 128 = 9%)
Heard before blogging? No. (19 of 128 = 15%)
Recommend? No. (105 of 128 = 82%)

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