Studio Album by released in 2007
Cassadaga's tracklist:
Clairaudients (Kill or Be Killed)
Four Winds
If the Brakeman Turns My Way
Hot Knives
Make a Plan to Love Me
Soul Singer in a Session Band
Classic Cars
Cleanse Song
No One Would Riot for Less
Coat Check Dream Song
I Must Belong Somewhere
Lime Tree

Cassadaga review

Conor Oberst: a man who just can't stop

American indie band Bright Eyes and its unchallenged leader Conor Oberst have been climbing up and increasing their influence on indie rock scene slowly but steadily. Almost every new release of this band was receiving loud responses from both critics and audience since 1998. The band was awarded with "new break through" status much more than once and each time people were setting their hopes on the future confessing that Conor Oberst is definitely a gifted person yet not ripe enough - just on the point of doing something extraordinary. Bright Eyes, in response, were trying their best to record good albums, each time making a step up with their new and more interesting record. Thus they managed to receive national attention by 2002. But the common opinion that Oberst "can do better" has already stuck to the band. Probably, Oberst was sensing it, so he was never going to leave off trying, seeking and experimenting, within reasonable limits, of course. Apotheosis of Bright Eyes' success fell on 2005 when the band released two new albums at once, each recorded in deferent style. This would seem a nice reason to stop and keep working in this discovered vein, but Oberst is not that kind of a person. Honoring the old tradition to conquer new peaks he recorded Cassadaga – the album that can remove a label of a promising band from Bright Eyes at last and secure a status of outstanding one.                       

A quirky mixture of country and indie rock

The evolution of Bright Eye's soft indie style looks quite consistent throughout the band's discography; there are no sharp leaps. And new album doesn't break this tendency too. Just like I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning it continues developing an intrigue mixture of traditional American rock and country music with indie fission's legacy. But there is one, yet really weighty distinctive feature. Cassadaga is leaving boarders of indie rock. Bright Eyes abandoned fields of LoFi music with this album. The unbelievably beautiful and reach arrangements became the brightest peculiarity of the album. Bright Eyes frequently use organ, mandolin, 12-string acoustic and pedal steel. Sometimes, the songs sound even too traditional. No, Cassadaga is not a country album, but this is not indie in the sense we all used to understand it either. It is all brightly expressed on the album's main single Four Winds. It has both, an obvious country influence and characteristic indie vocal line. The song intrigues with the way it progresses, it is hard to say what Oberst will undertake in the following moment. If you are interested in this very side of the album pay your attention to such tracks as Middleman or I Must Belong Somewhere. Sometimes Oberst plunges into more avant-garde themes like on Hot Knives. The song is really queer in texture and mood, its unexpected parties and effects are especially tasty. The album features few slow tracks where Oberst strives to achieve an epic sounding. You may check out Make A Plan To Love Me or No One Would Riot For Less to get that.  

Bright Eyes turn drawbacks into specificity

Cassaganda has its small disadvantages too. A contrast combination of arrangements and specific indie singing manner sometimes sounds pretty weird, the voice stands out against general groundwork too much, this may scare new listeners away. Besides Oberst breaks the even flow of composition with his crooked phrases from time to time. He is not trying to squeeze them in but rather dictates to the music how it should play to fit them, not vice versa. However this is specificity rather than a drawback, many people like such things. I think this is it. Overall the album is recorded excellent. Oberst made another step forward indeed. He kept his unique style, enriched his songs with qualitative sound and drew a whole bunch of fresh and interesting ideas. If he won't reject this style of working he may become the most influential figure in indie rock within next five years. The album will be interesting for everybody. For those who is keen on Bright Eyes for a long time by now, for those who is not familiar to the band and for those who just loves music.           

Rate review4.49
Total votes - 8

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