USA, 2005, indie folk / contemporary folk
Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning: The more famous, acoustic sister album to Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, this album is quintessential Oberst, a young poet who sings of regrets and hopes all while simultaneously understanding and being confused. This is a beautiful collection of musings on young love and substance abuse, and everything in between. Some people criticize Oberst of being a bit too smart for his own good, but what it really boils down to is his conviction. He sings with conviction, but his conviction is in his lack of conclusions. This album makes me cry pretty much every time I listen to it, but the tears always come at a different spot. On last listen, I cried at the line “I’m happy just because I’ve found out that I’m really no one”. The realization that I, too, am pretty much a nobody is a freeing and joyful revelation. On this listen, it was “if you love something, give it away”. I’ve been to the mountaintop where what I loved most was required of me. With the same two hands with which I freely and wholeheartedly received my gift, I rendered it back. And it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When I at last descended the mountain, I saw that I had grown old, and nothing mattered but that thing I loved.