TOP TRACK: “Lover I Don’t Have to Love”
Looking back on Conor Oberst’s career, Bright Eyes’ Lifted… was a defining moment. Oberst’s almost instantaneous transformation from indie rock’s “boy genius” to straight-up “genius” was the type of event that meant a lot then and carries even more weight now. With his stunning orchestral arrangements, darker themes and an aptitude for inventive song structures far past the usual verse-chorus-verse monotony of his similarly aged peers, Oberst may be one of the greatest songwriters of our generation. And even after the stunning I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning/Digital Ash in a Digital Urn dual release, we still look to Lifted… as the moment he arrived.
— John Cassillo