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Bright Eyes’ fourth album starts and ends with the voice of Randy Brewer, an old country singer who frontman Connor Oberst met while on his travels. Brewer's commanding tone opens the album discussing physics, Hitler, and how we've evolved from aliens. He appears throughout The People's Key and doe not shy from views on religion or politics.

"Firewall" melds from Brewer's rant to a steady electric guitar riff accompanied by Oberst's voice: "I do my best to sleep through the caterwaul. The classicists, the posturing avant-garde..."

Bright Eyes’ music touches on punk, folk, rock, blues, emo, you name it. They leap from the piano of "Shell Games" into the guitar-and-drum barrage of "Jejune Stars." Synthesizers and voice distorters help hide the seams.

Brewer’s words end the collection: "Problems of the future can be solved by mankind because we created them." The people's key is within every one of us.

Bright Eyes appears at Soma with Kurt Vile and the Violators on September 21.

  • Album: The People's Key
  • Artist: Bright Eyes
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • Songs: (1) Firewall (2) Shell Games (3) Jejune Stars (4) Approximate Sunlight (5) Haile Selassie (6) A Machine Spiritual (In The People's Key) (7) Triple Sprial (8) Beginner's Mind (9) Ladder Song (10) One For You, One For Me
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