Albums to watch

Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

Bright Eyes

Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was

Tenth studio album and first in almost a decade from the indie rock band led by Conor Oberst features drummer Jon Theodore (Queens of the Stone Age) and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea

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Dead Oceans
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  1. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Oberst just turned 40, and Down In The Weeds feels like the work of someone who’s reckoning with middle age, or at least the specter of it. There’s the mature reflection he intertwines with his urgency. There’s his hard-fought optimism
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  2. 9.0 |   music OMH

    By the time the album’s 54 minutes have drawn to a close, you feel exhausted but in the best possible way. Oberst has obviously had a hard time of it over the past few years, but these songs are the best possible way of getting it out of his system
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  3. 9.0 |   Punk News

    As talented as Oberst is on his own, his symbiotic relationship with the other members of Bright Eyes makes it easily Oberst’s best project and one I hope continues on for the foreseeable future
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  4. 9.0 |   Uncut

    Oberst has never sounded so wide awake. Print edition only

  5. 9.0 |   Northern Transmissions

    The production throughout Down In The Weeds, Where The World Once Was is positively perfect. Nothing gets bogged down at any point and whether it’s an 80s sounding synth pad, an absolutely shredding guitar solo, a lonely horn or string section, it all fits wonderfully into place, lifting up the songs
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  6. 8.5 |   Spectrum Culture

    Bright Eyes was always destined to return, and they’re just as beautiful as you remembered
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  7. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    The established sound of Bright Eyes' melancholia is as strong as ever on Down In The Woods yet it still feels fresh
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  8. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    The reunited rockers find both a natural and surprising connection between past and present
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  9. 8.2 |   Paste Magazine

    The new record from the dormant indie rock band, Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, brings their sound into exactly the right moment for 2020
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  10. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Where the band goes from here is anyone’s guess, but Bright Eyes’ latest is a satisfying new addition to a storied career
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  11. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    An inescapably foreboding comeback
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  12. 8.0 |   The Independent

    Band's first record in nine years feels like stepping back into the anxiety-filled world of previous albums
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  13. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The band continues to be unmatched at tackling the biggest questions with a profound, heart-wrenching intimacy
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  14. 8.0 |   Q

    Smart audio trickery and intriguing atmospheres draw the listener in and, overall, it's a real treat. Print edition only

  15. 8.0 |   All Music

    Down in the Weeds avoids being either a phoned-in nostalgia trip or a wildly new direction that would alienate fans. Instead it continues Bright Eyes' evolution without skipping a beat, and manages to be one of their stronger records in the process
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  16. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us
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  17. 8.0 |   Gig Soup

    Their most diverse, restless collection since 2002
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  18. 8.0 |   DIY

    At once bleak, grey and obsessed with morbidity, and lush, blooming and gorgeous, it’s great to have them back
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  19. 7.8 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    They're spinning a lonely, sad narrative on Down in the Weeds..., but in telling the story they share it with all of us, which naturally transforms it
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  20. 7.4 |   Pitchfork

    Conor Oberst and company have not lost their taste for grandiosity on their first album in nearly a decade, setting familiar woes against a dazzling collage of sounds
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  21. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    The singles are as good as Bright Eyes has ever sounded
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  22. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    Reminds us why Conor Oberst was one of the best singer-songwriters of the 2000s
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  23. 6.4 |   Beats Per Minute

    What comes reverberating out of Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was is Bright Eyes’ deep desire to create beautiful and ambitious music, which they’ve certainly done – even if the results aren’t as essential as what’s come before
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  24. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    By nodding to the past instead of pushing on for something more daring, casual listeners may fine it all a little too evenly paced despite the odd surprise here and there
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  25. 6.0 |   Mojo

    These are precarious songs, Oberst's voice as fragile as an egg, yet when it comes to songwriting, Bright Eyes remain a safe pair of hands. Print edition only

  26. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    His cryptic, committed, broken-voiced melancholy is a good fit for these times
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  27. 6.0 |   Exclaim

    It doesn't quite live up to Bright Eyes' lofty name
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  28. 6.0 |   No Ripcord

    Oberst and his cohorts' generous offering does take them on new, unexplored territory while remaining true to his wry prose. And when all is said done, he's surprisingly positive considering the difficult circumstances that came his way
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