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Bright Eyes: The People’s Key
It’s tempting to call The People’s Key cosmic; like something that mystical hippie Donovan would’ve made—or the Moody Blues during its contemplative years. On his final Bright Eyes album, wordy savant Conor Oberst abandons the winsome emo and wrenching confessionals of past albums to become a bona fide spiritual seeker. He is no longer trying to tease out the meaning of life from his own broken relationships, personal demons or the psychics of Cassadaga. Instead, he’s looking to history’s exalted past for answers to the big metaphysical questions that have confounded statesmen, dreamers and religious figures for centuries. While he may not come up with any concrete answers, his search provides a gripping musical ride through ‘70s-style rock—flitting through the fourth dimension, deep space and even Catholicis m to reconcile the loss of faith, which he so chillingly documents in “Triple Spiral.” He investigates what the early Sumerians knew and attempts to achieve the beginner’s mind that is necessary on the path to enlightenment. All this makes it clear that Oberst is as much of a philosopher as he is an artist in this quietly graceful work.
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