I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning Music Poster Image

I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Indie/country-folk/rock from a precocious talent.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A great role model for talented young songwriters.


A few dark and violent images.


Innuendo but nothing explicit.


One or two four-letter words, in the context of well-written lyrics.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few references to drugs and drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Conor Oberst's well-written lyrics can be darkly brooding at times. Occasional sex and drug references are innuendo'd enough so that younger kids probably won't understand them, but this CD is still best appreciated by older teens and up.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they prefer the meaningful lyrics and musical skills of this album to standard pop fare. Do you think that this artist might connect better with the audience?

Music details

Artist:Bright Eyes
Release date:January 25, 2005
Label:Saddle Creek
Genre:Indie Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Parent of a 13 year old Written byhellogoodbyefoo May 10, 2010

Great for teens, but only good for tweens if they're mature.

It contains thoughts that are fun to ponder. The music video for "First Day of My Life" is good for showing tolerance, too.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bymoose drinking water March 8, 2010

Powerful music and lyrics

Great song writing. Conor Oberst's voice is not good but he puts enough emotion into the songs that he becomes a great bad singer.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byForknose April 9, 2008

A Fine Album

Yes, another Bright Eyes album. Very good album with brilliant lyrics. Nice to see good mainstream bands like this one. If you like this band, check out Desparecidos... Oberst's political band.