Considering that for whatever reason, here in the midst what is generally a very good time for releases, there are actually no new records worth being excited about this week, it is a welcome bit of news that NPR is now streaming the new Bright Eyes album, The People’s Key, two weeks before its official release date of 2/15. NPR blogger and All Things Considered producer Robin Hilton is over the moon excited about it. “I won’t mince words,” he says, “This is the best record Bright Eyes has ever made.” He even goes so far as to call it a “career-defining piece of art.”
I’m only one track into the album so far, not including “Shell Games” and “Haile Selassie,” which hit the internet previously, and I find myself really struck by the way the melodies are so defiant and full of life, never quite going where you think they will. It seems Conor Oberst has taken a step or three away from the country-ish troubadour thing he’d been doing for the past few years, returning instead to the kitchen-sink pop approach, which has maybe always suited him better.
You can pre-order the album here, and if you’re still trying to decide between the vinyl and the CD, you should watch this footage of the making of the LP, the first 10,000 copies of which will come with a “6-panel tri-fold die-cut old style Stoughton tip-on LP jacket printed on iridescent foil.” No idea what that means, obviously, but it sounds awesome. And shiny!