Bright Eyes
Fevers & Mirrors


4.5
superb

Review

by Chewbacca USER (32 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2005 | 47 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


"The fever is basically what ever ales you or opresses you, it can be anything. In my case it's my neurosis, it's my..depression, but I don't want it to be limited to that. It's certainly different for different people. It's whatever keeps you up at night," Conor Oberst states in the (fake?) radio interview in "Attempt to Tip the Scales". "The mirror is like, as you might have guessed, self examination, or reflection, or whatever form. This could be vanity, or self loathing. I know, uh, I'm guilty of both. He goes on to say "The scale is essentially..our attempt to solve all of our problems quantitatively, through logic or rationalization. In my opinion it's often fruitless, but always...uh, not always. The clocks and caldendars and such are just...time; our little measurements. Always chasing after us."

What Conor states in the seemingly fake interview is exactly what the album is. Through the rather recognizable imagery, Conor tells stories of love, introspection, and the problems that people face in their lives, from day to day. The music is seemingly dark and eerie, with production that fits the songs very well. Conor brings out his acoustic for many of the songs, providing an intimate feel to the song to go along with his whispering, gentle voice. The arrangements are melodic, and dense, like in "A Scale, a Mirror, and Those Indifferent Clocks," which has a beautiful piano melody, atmospheric organ playing, and some woodwinds providing even more layers of melody to add to the song. "The Calendar Hung Itself..," though, is a vicious song with Conor bringing out his mellodramatic voice. Their is distorted guitars playing on the upbeat, and a distorted keyboard melody, providing more dark undertones to the song, and Conor adds lines like "You are my sunshine" that make it even more sinister and eerie sounding. The acoustic songs here, though, are some of the best. "Something Vague" has some atmospheric guitar playing, accordian, and acoustic playing from Conor. "Haligh, Haligh, A Lie, Haligh" is another love song, about a lover spending time with other people. The song eventually builds up into a glorious chorus, and there is plenty of slide playing adding some atmospherics to the song. Here, like plenty of the songs on the album, Conor sounds miserable, and it makes you feel miserable. It's the greatest miserable I've ever felt. "Attempt to Tip the Scales" is a gorgeous song, beggining wth Conor on acoustic, his voice quivering. Female vocals come in and harmonize with him, to beautiful affect, and moraccas add some rhythm. Some of his best lyrics are right here, and they are probably the most simple on here. Some keyboard adds more melody, and orchestrated samples randomly coming in, giving the song a whole new feel. The album ends on a very downbeat note, with "A Song to Pass the Time," with Conor solo, with his acoustic. He tells a story about people that he sees, suburbia, and love, and is very "singer-songwriter". It actually reminds me of Bob Dylan, very much so.

Here, on Fevers & Mirrors, Conor Oberst puts out his best work. The songs are simple and melodic, but all of them possess a very dark and eerie quality to them. The album is depressing and melancholic, with a good portion of the songs having something to do with love. Conor uses large amounts of imagery and metaphors here, but also provides some of his simplest lyrics that he has ever written. The arrangements and playing are all very mature and developed, and fit the the music extremely well. The production also fits the music, once agian provide a sinister, dark, and eerie tone to the music, but also letting the arrangements having room to breathe and the melodies to flow through your ears. Fevers & Mirrors is Conor Oberst's best album, and one of the best of the decade so far.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rudd13
July 23rd 2005


952 Comments


I hate bright eyes. :thumb:

Good review, anyways

Killtacular
July 23rd 2005


1314 Comments


You get another thumb. You'd better enjoy it too, because I'm running out of thumbs to give you.

:thumb:

masada
July 23rd 2005


2733 Comments


Sphincter.

morrissey
Moderator
July 24th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review as always, you're becoming a great contributor and we have similar taste so I enjoy your reviews.

This album is hot, I love it beyond any other Bright Eyes material I own. I'm not one of those people who sees Conor Oberst as some musical god, but I dig his work and expect good things from him in the future.

4.5/5 for the genre, probably 4/5 in the whole scheme of things.This Message Edited On 07.24.05This Message Edited On 06.08.06

pixiesfanyo
July 24th 2005


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a very solid album.

Much better than most of his other stuff.

Little Man being Erased
July 24th 2005


87 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree with morrissey, except I think Lifted or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground is Conor's best.

Sepstrup
July 25th 2005


1563 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I only own I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, but I've heard some of his other stuff... Something Vague is definitely a cool song. When I get some money I'll get Lifted and then maybe this, it sure sounds cool...

Nice review

masada
July 25th 2005


2733 Comments


It might be a better idea to buy Fevers & Mirrors first, since Lifted is such a huge album, length-wise. This one is a bit easier to digest.

Ryou-Neko
September 10th 2005


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I disagree. First of all, most people don't listen to "The Big Picture" on Lifted, so that takes away about 10 minutes of the CD. But that was the album of his that I really got started on, and it's gotten my hooked on Bright Eyes. Fevers and Mirrors is a landmark album, and I really think that it is his best. It has wonderful arrangements, and is a great place to start if you're into rockier music. But if you're more into Adult Contemporary, than you should start with Lifted.
Morrissey, I totally agree. F&M is my favourite Bright Eyes album, and is a wonderful work.
But, you can't say that Lifted isn't the most popular.

woofwoofwoof
September 10th 2005


156 Comments


I'm Wide Awake It's Morning > lifted & digital ash in a digital urn > fevers&mirrors > the rest. hes growing and stuff

morrissey
Moderator
September 12th 2005


1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Digital Ash sucks.

beachbum18
October 8th 2005


40 Comments


Alot of kids have bright eye shirts at my school. I didnt know it was a band. They sound pretty good I think I'll check them out.

Ryou-Neko
November 5th 2005


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was very impressed by "Digital Ash"...

My order of discovery:
1 I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
2 Digital Ash
3 Lifted or the Story is in the Soil Keep Your Ear to the Ground
4 Fevers and Mirrors
5 Every Day and Every Night

Neoteric
December 30th 2005


3243 Comments



Alot of kids have bright eye shirts at my school. I didnt know it was a band. They sound pretty good I think I'll check them out.

It isn't even a band, it's a guy.

masada
December 30th 2005


2733 Comments


Bright Eyes is a band, but Conor does most of the writing, and the lineup tends to change with every album.

This is Bright Eyes' best album, besides maybe I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I like his acoustic-driven stuff a lot more these days.

Neoteric
December 30th 2005


3243 Comments



Bright Eyes is a band, but Conor does most of the writing, and the lineup tends to change with every album.

This is Bright Eyes' best album, besides maybe I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I like his acoustic-driven stuff a lot more these days.

But isn't Conor the only permanent member?

whowhatwhenwherewhy?
January 19th 2006


9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Jesus! Yea its Connor and Mike mogis mainly and digital ash is quite a good album. I still believe it doesnt beat lifted though


IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 13th 2006


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, just picked up this album the other day and it's fantastic, thank you for this review. 4.5/5 for album and 5/5 for the review. 'Sunrise, Sunset' is my favorite song.This Message Edited On 02.13.06

Domenic182
March 5th 2006


9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best Bright Eyes album. Something Vague is my favorite Bright Eyes song ever.
Amazing

FA
March 6th 2006


127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't think Digital Ash necessarily sucked, but I'm Wide Awake It's Morning definitely takes the cake of the better of the two releases.



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