A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
What's the story?
Frequent comparisons to the young Bob Dylan make Conor Oberst, the lead singer of Bright Eyes, an enticing draw. Indeed, this intense and talented young man is one of the most intriguing singer-songwriters around. His back-to-basics-with-a-twist take on Roots/Americana music is finding an audience among teenagers who have lost patience with standard overproduced pop music. At age 24, Conor Oberst has already been at it for over 10 years -- having begun his career at age 13 in Nebraska with the tiny indie label he still calls home. I'M WIDE AWAKE, IT'S MORNING feels like his coming-of-age project. Some amazing guest stars participated, including Clay Leverett and Andy LeMaster of Now It's Overhead, Marie Taylor of Azure Ray, Nick Zinner, Jim James, and Jimmy Tamborello.
Is it any good?
Emmylou Harris appears on three tracks on this CD, but even she can't steal the spotlight from Oberst. His intense and poetic presence is always the star of the show. Meticulous attention to musical detail, understated production, and the eloquent vulnerability of the lyrics make this album feel like a future classic. There is a four-letter word or two and some dark and troubling imagery -- innuendo that will go over the heads of kids not ready to hear it. Yet the whiny disenchantment will feel very comfortable to teenagers. Plus, beyond that, there's a lovely sense of watching a phenomenal talent find his voice and provide inevitable inspiration for other young talents.