I am fully aware that Cassadaga was released over a month ago. It may be old news to you, but I was too shy to talk about it when everyone else was. There were bloggers singing its praise, calling it another masterpiece from Conor Oberst. There were bloggers saying something along the lines of, "Better luck next time, Bright Eyes." Really, I didn't know what I felt about it a month ago. But I've saturated myself with it this past month, and now I feel prepared to share my feelings about it with you.
I like Cassadaga, I really do. Honestly, when I heard news of the sixth album from Bright Eyes, I hoped he had diverted a bit from the country feel of his last album, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I craved a bit more of the Lifted... sound -- raw indie songs that Bright Eyes is known for. Of course I was spited, and Cassadaga came in all its country glory. This fact led to my initial rejection of the album. Needless to say, it was far, far away from my "Most Played" list on iTunes. It snuck up on me though. As I was driving around with my iPod plugged into the radio on shuffle, "Lime Tree" came on and stole my heart. Such a beautiful, beautiful song. I had a change of heart and quickly listened to the rest of the album with my new sense of enlightenment. My conclusion: Cassadaga is a good album well worth listening to.
Conor Oberst has never been one to be pegged as shallow, but his newest work reveals a sophistication and sensitivity that his earlier records were lacking. This may seem extremely ironic to say, considering he might as well be the epitome of emotional, but Cassadaga exhibits songs that are delicate and deep and oh so artistic. It may be the country/folk influence that I intially shunned that provided this poignant dimension to Oberst's music, but whatever it is, I love it.
There are lighthearted tracks however that lift the spirits and float along the ear canal. "I Must Belong Somewhere" is a great example, which appropriately comes after the darkly gorgeous "No One Would Riot For Less." It's almost as if Oberst expected everyone to expect downers from his latest, but no, some uppers definitely make their presence known.
My favorites would have to be "Lime Tree," "Four Winds," and "No One Would Riot For Less." They're posted below, and I hope you listen and like them. The whole album's great though, and I highly recommend going out and getting it the whole shebang.
(Sold Out dates not included)
May 16 Morsani Hall Tampa, FL
May 17 Hard Rock Live Orlando, FL
May 18 Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA
May 19 Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
May 22 Massey Hall Toronto, ONT
May 24 Wang Center Boston, MA
Jun 27 Hove Festibal Norway
Jul 1 St. Gallen Festival Switzerland
Jul 3 Shepherds Bush Empire London
Jul 6 Shepherds Bush Empire London
Jul 7 Academy Birmingham
Jul 8 Oxegen Festival Ireland
Jul 10 Effenaar Eindhoven, Netherlands
Jul 11 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jul 13 Dour Festival Belgium
Jul 19 Benicassim Festival Spain
Jul 21 Eden Sessions Cornwell
Aug 11 Summer Sonic Osaka, JP
Aug 12 Summer Sonic Tokyo, JPmp3 Lime Treemp3 No One Would Riot For Lessmp3 Four Winds