Lua - Bright Eyes (2005)
One of my all time favorite songs, one of my all time favorite songwriters and performers - and one of the few (very eclectic) certainties in my Desert Island Collection. This album best highlights Oberst’s unique talent of writing lyrics with pathos, humour, cynicism and pure humanity. They are delivered with poetic and poignant use of phrase, and follow ‘Dylanesque’ narratives that drip equal parts joy and desolation - often at the same time.
I know that it is freezing but I think we have to walkI keep waving at the taxis; they keep turning their lights offBut Julie knows a party at some actor’s west side loftSupplies are endless in the evening; by the morning they’ll be gone.When everything is lonely I can be my own best friendI get a coffee and the paper; have my own conversationsWith the sidewalk and the pigeons and my window reflectionThe mask I polish in the evening, by the morning looks like shit.And I know you have a heavy heart; I can feel it when we kissSo many men stronger than me have thrown their backs out trying to lift itBut me I’m not a gamble you can count on me to splitThe love I sell you in the evening, by the morning won’t exist.You’re looking skinny like a model with your eyes all painted blackYou just keep going to the bathroom always say you’ll be right backWell it takes one to know one, kid, I think you’ve got it badBut what’s so easy in the evening, by the morning is such a drag.I’ve got a flask inside my pocket we can share it on the trainIf you promise to stay conscious I will try and do the sameWe might die from medication, but we sure killed all the painBut what was normal in the evening, by the morning seems insane.And I’m not sure what the trouble was that started all of thisThe reasons all have run away but the feeling never didIt’s not something I would recommend, but it is one way to liveCause what is simple in the moonlight, by the morning never isWhat’s so simple in the moonlight, now is so complicated
What’s so simple in the moonlight, so simple in the moonlight
All the while, his complex lyrical meanderings bely the simplicity of many of the arrangements - he is often best stripped back and accompanied by an acoustic guitar. A raw, beautiful and constantly reengaging masterpiece - it is never far from my playlist.