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Bright Eyes

Four Winds

(Saddle Creek; US: 6 Mar 2007; UK: Available as import)

“Restrained” is a word not often seen in Bright Eyes reviews, but it’s the best way to describe this new EP by Conor Oberst and friends. Gone are the days of melodramatic dry heaves over dead baby brothers and cassette-taped conversations with vaguely Mexican school kids. In place of that, we have perfectly mannered, radio-friendly country pop. There are no overwrought confessions about sleeping with drunk girls, but neither are there the quiet vignettes about depression and loneliness that made Bright Eyes so compelling in the past.  This EP, along with 2004’s I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning and this year’s Cassadega, represents a kid growing out of his own personal neuroses into a self-assured, Important Rock Star. Good for him. Now excuse me while I put Fevers and Mirrors on repeat and cry into my beer.

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