Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning [Saddle Creek, 2005]
Given indie-rock's formal-historical dilemma, grant Conor Oberst this--at least it bothers him that he has no idea what he's doing, or rather why he's doing it, though actually I mean he admits that it bothers him instead of trying to ignore it. Like the empathy of so many young men, especially artists, his is more self-involved than saints like us prefer. But at least he expresses empathy--to memorable melodies that very nearly bear up under the repetitions his rarely witless or superfluous lyrics require. A-