Four Winds is the first single from the new Bright Eyes album Cassadaga, and the title of this six song EP. Truth be told these don't sound very much like Bright Eyes songs. I find myself wondering if this is the album where Conor attempts to shed his acquired and most likely unwanted popularity, ala Dylan's Self Portrait or Nirvana's Incesticide. Conor's songwriting comes across as forcibly mature and ultimately, incomprehensive. No -- he's not singing about girls, or parties or even drugs. This time around Conor's singing more words than ever and yet he's saying a whole lot less to the audience. As far as the backing band goes they are the most low-key and country-tinged that's ever appeared on a Bright Eyes recording. No, this isn't a step in the right direction for them --rather a forced step... sideways. The slow quiet unmemorable arrangements leave the songs uninteresting and lacking any sort of personality, especially when paired with his new interest for overly-thought 'mature' lyrical themes. It makes for one unaffecting disappointment of a listen. All I can say is that the full length album better be more musically impactful, relatable and less abstract poetic songwriter overly concerned with saying SOMETHING. --- "who are you again sir?, Conor whom?". Frankly, I don't know you anymore..
Final Grade: C-