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Bright Eyes: Noise FloorNoise Floor (2006)
Saddle Creek Records
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: colincolin
(others by this writer | submit your own)
A couple years ago, a band that everyone likes around these parts released a record of rarities and B-sides. That album was, rightfully so, praised for a stunning coherence of sound and attitude, a feat few compilation albums are able to attain. Well, chalk up another one right up there next to C.
A couple years ago, a band that everyone likes around these parts released a record of rarities and B-sides. That album was, rightfully so, praised for a stunning coherence of sound and attitude, a feat few compilation albums are able to attain.
Anchormen spike their blood / wear masks of mud / cucumbers cut to fill their eyes. / And so no one would know how tired they've grown / of talking and telling their lies. / While your TVs change stations / scroll messages / victims and Christians both drinking blood, / and they pray for the destruction of all hatred / more often, just those with hate for us.And while the songwriting never fails throughout the album, around two-thirds of the way through, it musically hits a lull. While Lifted... is longer by 10 minutes, it also is a complete work that is mixed to maintain a flow and interest. Tracks 9 through 12 ("Weather Reports" through "Amy in the White Coat") on Noise Floor are all fairly Oberst-and-guitar centric, and not until the chanting, clapping sing-along of "Devil Town" does the album regain some velocity.
However, the biggest fault of this record is not in the slow second act. The biggest fault is the lack of including the now infamous "When the President Talks to God." Yes, I realize that it's available on iTunes, but some of us digital music elitists would rather not support Steve Jobs' DRM-encoded empire. Also, it seems like an obvious choice of inclusion, what with Oberst gaining press for singing it on The Tonight Show.
My personal year-end list put this record at a nice spot at #13. I really think that this is a very strong collection, and for any Oberst fan, it will be a good addition to your collection. If you've never heard Bright Eyes, this actually could be a good introduction to a large period of time where Oberst wrote some of his best songs. Just be mindful, this is not perfect, at least not nearly as perfect as Lifted.... But it's pretty damn close.
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