Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Bright Eyes -- CassadagaOk, I'm not going to freak out.

In case you haven't heard, the new Bright Eyes album (Cassadaga) is being released tomorrow — and even though I pre-ordered my copy months ago, I haven't received my copy. Sadly, it somehow got sent to the office of my former employer and has yet to be forwarded to my place. This travesty can only be explained with the rationale that pre-order enthusiasm prevented me from seeing clearly and double checking the auto-filled 'send to' address.

But this is not what could cause a minor personal freakout. It is that Cassadaga just received a 6.0 on Pitchfork. Now, I am completely used to the phenomenon of having my favorite albums discredited by friends, critics, and people I admire… but with this Pitchfork review, I fear there's going to be a Shins/Wincing the Night Away avalanche of annoying BE jabs. I do love Pitchfork reviews (even when they are discrediting my heros)… but this time I feel like the reviewer went into it with the mindset that he was just dumped by the girl who introduced him to Conor.

One of the more painful parts of the review:

The political lyrics are the most troublesome. In his earlier efforts, Oberst was always hard on himself– the problem is that he's adjusted his scope without adjusting his tone, and now he's just as hard on everyone else. In fact, he hardly appears in these songs, and the self-immolating advice he used to dispense ("Don't degrade yourself the way I do") has given way to self-excluding left-wing boilerplate, all sound and no thunder.

I am torn because I can't fathom this being the case… but I also certainly can understand that my history of identifying with the young Oberst could cloud my view for his intentions with this album. Personally, I've found one of the hardest things in life is when someone labels you condescending. Arguing the condescending label only compounds itself because every time you try to dispute it, your behavior is cited as condescending. Frustration ensues.

So, I'm not worried that Cassadaga is going to be sub-par… I am fairly certain it is going to offer timeless nuggets of inspiration. I'm worried I'm going to be spending a lot more time arguing with people and being called condescending.