So Close to Classic

I picked up an album on recommendation from a good friend today, Cassadega by Bright Eyes. This album is phenomenal.

I don’t think before now I’ve heard an album emerge from my generation that comes so close to being a defining classic, a Blood on the Tracks or a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band. Connor Oberst dances from Dylan to Springsteen and on to a unique brilliance. There are misses, though.

The apocalyptic “Four Winds” sets the bar high, only to be demolished by the greatest song I’ve heard this year, “If The Brakeman Turns My Way”. Oberst’s voice sounds like that of Bob Dylan’s long lost son, with a piano line worthy of Billy Joel’s finest. The album stumbles, finds its way, and redeems itself many times over through the course of the next eleven tracks, just barely failing an ascension to the loftiest peaks of singer-songwriters past.

When the final song fades, I’m left with an indescribable tinge of sadness, that this album comes so close to that life-altering brilliance that one can taste it on the final notes.



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