Cassadaga won't win Bright Eyes any new followers, but it will keep their fans happy.
So, Bright Eyes front man little Conor Oberst is all grown up. If you heard his single “When the President Talks to God” a few years ago, you knew this was coming. As we heard on 2005's I'm Wide Awake, he's become infatuated with a classic country rock sound, and this time he recruited pals M. Ward, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings to help him out. What you'll notice right away is that Cassadaga is politically charged in a rather obvious way. Oberst used to have a knack for being rather cryptic and clever with his wordplay, but it's becoming increasingly easy to figure out what he's displeased with war, death, classism and something else very badÉwhat was it? Oh, right, religion. But give him credit, as he laments, “I was a hopeless romantic, now I'm just turning tricks.” Even with his ranting and raving, when he's not beating the dead war horse, his brilliance as a storyteller still shines through. “Make a Plan to Love Me” is an almost Bonnie “Prince” Billy-style love song, augmented with a sweet, serene orchestra, something that we could stand to see more of. The bottom line: If you aren't sold on Bright Eyes yet, this won't change your mind. If, on the other hand, you're already a fan, you'll enjoy this.