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CD Review: Bright Eyes/Neva Dinova

One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels (Saddle Creek )


This reissue of the 2004 EP that paired Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Neva Dinova's Jake Bellows doesn't sound the least bit dated. That's a credit to Oberst and Bellows' songwriting skills — and the fact that they've added four new tunes to the mix. "Rollerskating," one of the new tracks, marries muffled vocals with a Cure-like bass riff and really soars. The other new songs include the ramshackle rocker "Happy Accident," the twangy "Someone's Love" and epic breakup ballad "I Know You." They're all quite different from each other and show the real range (and maturation) of both Bright Eyes and Neva Dinova. Literally recorded in a basement, the original six songs aren't as assured, though that's part of their appeal. The wispy vocals in "Tripped," "Poison" and "Black Comedy" sound genuinely fragile and desperate, something most emo artists strain to achieve. Jeff Niesel

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