Bright Eyes
A Christmas Album


2.5
average

Review

by Sepstrup USER (20 Reviews)
December 18th, 2005 | 13 replies | 8,615 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

My first thought, as I heard about this album, was that it seemed like an interesting Christmas album, for a change. I like Bright Eyes a lot, and am not generally fond of Christmas albums (They all seem to feature ”Last Christmas”, which I still do not accept as being a Christmas song) This would be an interesting combination, I thought.

As I saw the track list, however, I was somewhat sceptical. Classics like ”Blue Christmas” and ”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” are often sung by singers with powerful voices. You can say a lot about the voice of Conor Oberst, the man behind Bright Eyes, but it isn’t powerful. Some find it outright hideous. But to me it is frail and emotional, which somehow works with the songs of the album. It’s not a fantastic record, but contains some interesting interpretations of songs that have been played thin over the years. It is sad but warm at the same time, and Conor’s voice does the songs justice, in spite of what one might think. Especially on ”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, where the sadness of his voice greatly adds to the song, which is, incidentally, the best song on the album.

The album has been released by Saddle Creek, Conor’s small record label, in the spirit of indie. It can only be purchased from his website and very few stores. It is a benefit CD and all profits are donated to the Nebraska AIDS Project

It starts with ”Away in a Manger”, with a high-pitched female choir singing to a piano and a steady pulse beat. You would never guess that this is a Bright Eyes record so far. Then a horn (trumpet maybe) plays the melody, to some background noise of children, the first clue that Bright Eyes could have had something to do with this record, since he doesn’t even sing on the first track. It’s a nice intro.

His unmistakable voice comes in on ”Blue Christmas”. The song hasn’t been changed a lot, but the meaning of the lyrics seems different when sung by Conor. Many of the tracks haven’t been changed a whole lot, so the main difference is his voice. ”God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, is rather upbeat, unlike most of the album, but it fits in well, as one of the best tracks. The album is by no means brilliant, but I find it nice to listen to.

The highlights are ”Blue Christmas”, ”God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and ”Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.

The final track ”The Night Before Christmas” is read with piano backing. I quite like it, but it will probably get old if you listen to the album too much (Like the interview featured on Bright Eyes’ Fevers & Mirrors). It is a fitting ending to the album, though, and certainly pleasant to listen to.

Bright Eyes’ ”A Chrismas Album” is by no means a classic, nor anywhere near it. People who aren’t particularly fond of Bright Eyes in general, will likely hate this album. But to me, it is a warm, melancholic Christmas album, that is certainly more interesting than most Christmas albums I’ve heard. If you want a different Christmas album, and, like me, actually like Conor’s singing, you should get this album. And hey, it’s for a good cause.

2,5/5, because while it is pleasant to listen to, it is not particularly innovate, and doesn't feature Bright Eyes' strongest quality: His lyrics.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
December 18th 2005



2125 Comments


I won't check this out, I love christmas carols and I don't think I could start to hear them ruined by Conor.

Great review though.

Sepstrup
December 18th 2005



1563 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5



It's probably mostly for hardcore Bright Eyes fans who insist on hearing everything he's ever done. I'm not one of those, I was just curious when I heard about this album :P

Digging: How to Dress Well - What Is This Heart?

Zebra
Moderator
December 18th 2005



2647 Comments


Sounds interesting, but I'm not a fan of Bright Eyes.

Good review.

masada
December 18th 2005



2733 Comments


Hooray for ghost r4t3rs.

Marshy0
June 9th 2006



4 Comments


Good cd, but its fucking depressing, i could only listen to it once

patrick5
December 25th 2006



40 Comments


hum hum...well, i love bright eyes, but hate christmas carols....

Eliminator
December 25th 2006



2067 Comments


okay for all of you retards out there

CHRISTMAS MUSIC =/= CHRISTMAS CAROLS

matthewdias88
January 16th 2008



1 Comments


I just registered so that I could tell Eliminator that he is the retard. A Christmas carol is a joyful Christmas song, so songs like Blue Christmas, and many others on this album, are not actually Christmas carols...RETARD!

alphamonkey
November 27th 2008



27 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I like this album. It'll be me nice to play some more recently recorded and modern sounding christmas music besides Trans Siberian Orchestra this holiday season.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

love bright eyes so much but this album sucks

Avirov
December 25th 2009



1206 Comments


Pretty singing, and wonderful instrumental variations on classic songs.

EmptySkies
September 9th 2010



11 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

About what you'd expect from a Bright Eyes Christmas album. Some outstanding stuff in "Silver Bells" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". The rest is pretty forgettable though.

TheAlmightyBungler
December 21st 2010



104 Comments


honestly, i like this, but i wish Oberst actually narrated The Night Before Christmas a la Bottom Of Everything.



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