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Digital Ash in a Digital Urn


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Audio CD, January 25, 2005
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Biography

Since 2006 the once revolving cast of Bright Eyes players has settled around permanent members Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott, with additional musicians joining them in the studio and on tour. Fully realized and bursting with charisma, The People’s Key is an assured and accomplished album, artfully arranged and filled with the engaging and mesmeric songwriting for which ... Read more in Amazon's Bright Eyes Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Digital Ash in a Digital Urn + LIFTED or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground 180 gram 2xLP [Vinyl]
Price for both: $31.40

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Saddle Creek
  • ASIN: B00070FWUG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,526 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Time Code
2. Gold Mine Gutted
3. Arc Of Time (Time Code)
4. Down In A Rabbit Hole - (with Nick Zinner)
5. Take It Easy (Love Nothing)
6. Hit The Switch
7. I Believe In Symmetry - (with Nick Zinner)
8. Devil In The Details - (with Nick Zinner)
9. Ship In A Bottle
10. Light Pollution
11. Theme From Pinata
12. Easy/Lucky/Free - (with Nick Zinner)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The second of two albums Oberst recorded this year, Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, is a more produced, band-centric album featuring cameo appearances by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Amazon.com

Having established himself as a folk singer-songwriter of considerable weight with 2002's--take a deep breath--Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Conor Oberst takes the opportunity to experiment here. Released simultaneously with the more conventional follow-up disc, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn sees the Omaha-based leader of Bright Eyes teaming up with a diverse set of musicians that includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner for a collection of songs that aim to recreate the alien landscapes of Radiohead but more often come off sounding like midperiod Depeche Mode. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

I like John Hughes films and Bright Eyes.
bowtie
Maybe I should not feel like I'm arguing against others so much, because simultaneous release does not mean compare like crazy, although that is a fair side-effect.
M. Miller
It is definitely worth buying whether you like indie music or any kind of alternative radio.
R. Almack

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 66 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" seems like an appropriate name for this album, one of two Bright Eyes has released in early 2005. It's about time and death, and it's swamped in digital music. Indie-rock's golden boy Conor Oberst lets out his inner Thom Yorke in this experimental album, which retains a dark, rough edge but doesn't quite measure up to Oberst's other work.

This time around, Oberst's mournful songs are dressed up in artful synth. Think of this as Bright Eyes' "Kid A" -- an experimental album that may herald a whole new direction for Bright Eyes, or may just be Oberst diddling around in the studio. "Digital Ash" takes some time to get moving, but is breathtaking when it finally does.

While "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" has a stripped-down, warmer sound, "Digital Ash" is darker and colder -- part gritty rock, part new wave. Its heart is "I Believe in Symmetry," a jagged rock song with a transcendent climax. It's accompanied by the symphonic prettiness of "Gold Mine Gutted," and the cacophonic pop of "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)."

Oberst often overdoes it with all the synth and swelling soundscapes, with some very choppy beats put in. Regular instruments like a snare drum, acoustic guitar and strings keep it grounded. But despite the acoustic instruments, the dense electronic blips take this far away from country and indie rock.

His songwriting gets lost in the mix in songs like the vaguely loungey "Devil in the Details." His vocals also get messed with in a few songs, which just gives the feeling that parts of "Digital Ash" is overproduced. Most of the time his slightly trembly vocals are left alone, rising triumphantly over the multilayered music.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Narq VINE VOICE on April 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Digital Ash is a bittersweet symphony. It is the warbling voice of Conor Oberst lurking somewhere in resignation between hope and despair. It is a dark work of art that plays hide and seek with electronic shadows and acoustic lights. It is, perhaps, his "Sgt Pepper's" and what's scary is that he can do better. And he no doubt will.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Almack on December 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
With both albums being released at the exact same time, Digital Ash may at times seem like the "other Bright Eyes CD." And to tell you the truth I felt the very same when it was released. Wide Awake, It's Morning on the surface is a much better listen and more enjoyable. But the themes in "Poison Oak" and "Road to Joy" are both quickly worn out.

"Arc of Time (Time Code)" is probably the best Bright Eyes song in my opinion. It's got everything: fascination with death, fear of religion, and the pondering of the big question. That's pretty much everything Bright Eyes is about. Throw in a line about "blonde hair girls and whisky slurs" and I would dare say it's every theme Connor Oberst has tried to cover. I've seen the song live twice and get more amazed every time.

But like I said, the goods of this album are not easily found. Digital Ash is an album that gets better with each listen. Bright Eyes fans know this is how it happens with many albums. I also bought Lifted... and Fevers and Mirrors at the same time. Lifted... of course became my favorite album in the world. But as I listened to them both over and over, I found that Fevers and Mirrors was a better album, with better music, lyrics, and songs. And I still believe that to this day. Some things in music have to sit inside you for a while before they can be fully appreciated. This album is included there. It is definitely worth buying whether you like indie music or any kind of alternative radio.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on March 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Conor Oberst, better known as Bright Eyes, has proven himself both prolific and ambitious with his recent release of two simultaneous albums. While "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" takes the safer straight-up folkie route, "Digital Ash In a Digital Urn" is by far a more unique listen for its experimental, frothy production that takes Oberst's dependably simple, stream-of-conscious lyrics for a different kind of ride than lo-fi fare can do.

After the lyrically terse opening with the squeaky "Time Code" comes "Gold Mine Gutted," a bittersweet, coming of age tale with an entrancing melody that will stay sticky on the listener's brain. The urgent "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)" makes an instrument out of Oberst's voice with sharp vocal overdubbing, recounting a defunct relationship with a much older woman.

"`Don't take it so bad, it's nothing you did/It's just once something dies/You can't make it live/You're a beautiful boy/You're a sweet little kid/But I am a woman.'"

The singer/songwriter convincingly plays the role of Satan in "Devil In the Details," while later celebrating domesticity in "I Believe In Symmetry."

"Oh I want to learn such simple things/No politics, no history/Till what I want and what I need/Can finally be the same."

Dark humor also occupies the disc on the tongue-in-cheek "Light Pollution," which pokes fun at the American economy, while "Hit the Switch" explores what happens when an individual can take no more and completely shuts themselves off from the world.

Furthermore, Oberst waxes romantic on "Ship In a Bottle," complete with baby cries and romantic clichés, as well as with "Theme to Piñata," which has some of the most mushy words ever set to music.
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