Bright Eyes

Following the critical acclaim garnered by the 2005 simultaneous release of I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, Bright Eyes seems eager to confirm its status as indie overachievers. With anticipation building for a followup, the band's mainstays — boy-genius Conner Oberst, joined by Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott — buy time with a six-song EP that serves as an extended preview for their upcoming album, Cassadaga. A hodge-podge of Bright Eyes' assorted styles, it veers from the jaunty country sway of the title track and the easy lilt of "Tourist Trap" to the cool, subdued "Smoke Without Fire," and the discordance and disarray that skews "Cartoon Blues." The most satisfying songs are those that fall somewhere in between — the surging "Reinvent the World" and an assertive "Stray Dog Freedom." Oberst remains a Bush-whacker, as implied in lyrical references to "the Great Satan" and "the horror of Babylon," but overall, Four Winds stirs up little more than a pleasant breeze.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lee Zimmerman