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Advance Review - Bright Eyes: 'Down In The Weeds Where The World Once Was'

(Photo Credit - Danny Cohen)

Advance Review - Bright Eyes: Down In The Weeds Where The World Once Was (August 21, 2020)

Indie and emo fans, rejoice--Bright Eyes is back! Vocalist Conor Oberst reunites with Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott to give us Down in the Weeds Where the World Once Was, their first album since “The People’s Key” in 2011, which was believed to be their final album. Long time fans and newcomers to the indie scene alike will find something to connect with in the melancholy comeback from everyone’s favorite Nebraska Sad Boys.

The album opens with “Pageturner’s Rag,” which serves as an introduction to the album, touching on themes of malaise and nostalgia. The album is largely about watching the world crumble around you and trying to keep your head above water and your spirits high through all of the destruction and despair. In “Just Once in this World” Oberst suggests “So if it’s time let’s go together . . . Let’s sail into that stormy weather no matter how it turns out” giving listeners a glimmer of hope during the global upset we’re currently witnessing. 

The album is full of tracks like “Tilt-A-Whirl” and “Hot Car in the Sun,” which address feelings of loneliness and deep depression, but it also includes hopeful tracks such as “Forced Convalescence.” This second single off of the album inspires feelings of capability and support. It imparts the age-old lesson of what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger and begs the listener to appreciate the little happy moments in a life full of chaos and disappointment. 

The release of Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was is, indeed, a timely one. Never in my life has the entire world gone through so much collective trauma as we are experiencing now and we could all use this reminder that our apocalyptic fears are shared feelings and that we have the ability to overcome the mental hurdles that often accompany the environmental hurdles we have thrown at us. We should all take a page from Bright Eyes and let ourselves feel what we need to in order to get through these times. This album can help.

Rating - 4/5

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