Digital Ash in a Digital Urn

Digital Ash in a Digital Urn

4.6 3
by Bright Eyes
     
 

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This disc, the more rock-oriented of Conor Oberst's simultaneous 2005 releases, is certainly the most ambitious undertaking of the Nebraskan expatriate's career, veering as it does from detached electronica to neo-glam. But while the sonic trappings are unlike those of any previous Bright Eyes outing, the core sentiments -- and erudite lyrics -- remain the same. On… See more details below

Overview

This disc, the more rock-oriented of Conor Oberst's simultaneous 2005 releases, is certainly the most ambitious undertaking of the Nebraskan expatriate's career, veering as it does from detached electronica to neo-glam. But while the sonic trappings are unlike those of any previous Bright Eyes outing, the core sentiments -- and erudite lyrics -- remain the same. On "Down in a Rabbit Hole," Oberst exudes his usual longing, but rather than mutter about it with a reticence that makes the listener feel like an eavesdropper, he takes a stance that's practically rock star-esque. The more amped-up backing -- helmed by Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner -- also goes a long way toward sharpening the (self-directed) barbs secreted within the alcohol-sodden "Hit the Switch." Oberst's never been shy about examining the uglier side of life, a space he illustrates quite effectively on the woozy, nightmarish "Easy/Lucky/Free." Digital Ash isn't, however, all gloom and doom: "Light Pollution," for instance, lopes along coquettishly with a Roxette-like spring in its step (belying, of course, the fact that it concerns a seemingly fatal auto accident). Taken as a whole, the disc has a vibe that's reminiscent of David Bowie's made-in-Berlin albums (Low, The Lodger) -- and that blend of elegance and seediness makes Oberst a compelling, if potentially tragic, character.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Digital Ash in a Digital Urn is designed to be the musical polar opposite to the simultaneously-released I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, to be the ambitious, modernistic electronic record that stands in contrast to the sepia-toned, classicist acoustic LP. The production and arrangements may have changed, but Conor Oberst's preference to lyrics over music remains the same. Nevertheless, there is more variety and dynamicism on Digital Ash, which makes it a more interesting listen than its companion, even if it's hard not to escape the feeling that the album is Bright Eyes' take on the Postal Service's Give Up.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
Saddle Creek
UPC:
0648401007312
catalogNumber:
73
Rank:
37438

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bright Eyes   Primary Artist
Marcia Ann Taylor   Vocals
Kimberly Salistean   Violin,Group Member
Mike Mogis   Guitar,Chimes,Keyboards,Theremin,Baritone,Timpani,Wurlitzer
Clark Baechle   Drums
Jiha Lee   Flute
Jason Boesel   Percussion,Drums
Conor Oberst   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Baritone,Sampling,Wurlitzer
Nate Walcott   Trumpet
Sabrina Duim   Harp
Nick White   Keyboards
Donna Carnes   Violin,Group Member
Karen Becker   Cello,Group Member
Thomas Kluge   Viola,Group Member
Andy Leverett   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Stella Mogis   Vocals
Nick Zinner   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Sabrina Duim   Harp

Technical Credits

Andy LeMaster   Engineer
Mike Mogis   Engineer
Jimmy Tamborello   Programming
Conor Oberst   Composer
Nate Walcott   String Arrangements
Andy Leverett   Programming

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