First of all, I've been listening to bands like Bright Eyes since my early years of high school and in all honesty, I hated Oberst's voice when I listened to the song, "Lover I Don't Have to Love". Now, that was back when I still listened to overproduced artists like Fall Out Boy and The All American Rejects so I shouldn't have been so quick to judge. What didn't I like about his voice? Well, all I can is say is take a good listen to any song he's ever made and you can easily tell why. His voice is unlike any other, it's shaky and not exactly in the right key at times. People often claim that he is a modern day Dylan and to me, this seems almost dead-on. One lyric that admits his trembly voice, "I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else's voice, but failure's always sounded better" (from the song "Road to Joy"). Now if anyone is a failure than Conor is certainly far from it. However, I wholeheartedly agree with the point he is making. Just because you're a singer, it doesn't mean you have to have the ideal "perfect" voice. His voice sounds so sincere, so fragile, so...passionate. Many would argue that he doesn't have a radio friendly voice, but why does that even matter? It's unique and every soulful word he sings is close to being tangible to its listeners.
So go ahead, listen to a Bright Eyes record. This man is a lyrical genius and has helped me during the roughest times of my life. If you're wondering why he is my favorite artist of all time then stop wondering. It's obvious. Listen to "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" or "Lifted or the Story is in the Soil...Keep Your Ear to the Ground" and read the lyrics along with the music and THEN tell me you hate his music. Sure, his voice is an acquired taste, but just like I like my coffee black with no cream or sugar to hype the taste, I like some of my music. What we have here is one of the most honest singers and writers I've ever heard, who puts so much of himself in everything he does. And yet, he leaves it to his listeners to decide if his songs are paintings of his life or the lives of others, or perhaps both. Regardless, Conor Oberst sure does know how to paint a pretty picture with words and instruments.