Bright Eyes' latest offering, Motion Sickness, is a collection of live recordings from the I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning leg of the band's 2005 tour. For those who have never seen Omaha-born critical darling Conor Oberst perform live, Sickness is a near-flawless depiction of the band's (and the songwriter's) unscripted performances. With an affinity for red wine, speaker aerobatics and incomprehensible verbal diarrhea, Oberst is often a loose cannon on stage, a fact that makes each show a potential musical celebration or car crash. Not knowing the outcome is part of the excitement of being in the audience. But Sickness strips away this excitement and instead offers perfect renditions of the country-soaked "Old Soul Song," the confessional "We Are Nowhere" and the politically charged "When the President Talks to God." The album's highlight is not even a Bright Eyes song, but rather a cover of Elliott Smith's remorseful ballad "The Biggest Lie." Coincidence? We think not.
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