I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

Music review by
Kathi Kamen Goldmark, Common Sense Media
I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning Music Poster Image
Indie/country-folk/rock from a precocious talent.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few references to drugs and drinking.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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.
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 Despare... Continue reading
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.
Teen, 14 years old Written bysirloinsteak911 April 9, 2008

Great CD

This CD is appropriate for ages 12+, just because of some light language. It fits into any genre... indie, country, rock, and pop. Probably one of the best song... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Last updated: July 15, 2015

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