The ten track set starts off quietly: Oberst's pal Denny Brewer recites an ominous treatise on space and time before it segues into the brooding blues-rocker "Firewall." But the energy level soon kicks up on "Shell Games," where Oberst proclaims he's "still angry with no reason to be" over shards of '80s synths and guitars. Other highlights include the haunting atmospheric ballad "A Machine Spiritual (In the People's Key)" and the fractured, Big Star-style power-pop number "Triple Spiral."
"With Bright Eyes, we've always experimented and tried to make a different record every time out," Oberst told SPIN of the new album back in December. "I'm feeling burnt out on the Americana, roots-y sound. I just wanted to make something different, something modern but something that still had warmth."
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