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LIFTED or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (473 ratings)
LIFTED or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground album cover
The Big Picture
Method Acting
False Advertising
You Will. You?Will. You? Will. You?Will.
Lover I Don't Have to Love
Bowl of Oranges
Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come
Nothing Gets Crossed Out
Make War
Waste of Paint
From a Balance Beam
Laura Laurent
Let's Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and to Be Loved)
Album Information

Total Tracks: 13   Total Length: 73:02

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Wondering Sound

Review 11

Ian Cohen


Ian Cohen caused a minor uproar after panning the first Presidents of the United States of America LP in his high school newspaper, and not much has changed sin...more »

Bright Eyes, LIFTED or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
2002 | Label: Saddle Creek

Letting Off the Happiness is the diehard’s choice, Fevers & Mirrors was the breakthrough and I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning won the glossy mags over, but Lifted… is the album Conor Oberst was put on this earth to make. At the end of his rope and the peak of his powers, Oberst and nearly everyone ever affiliated with Saddle Creek essentially created emo’s Ready To Die (give or take a 12-piece orchestra), the entirety of… read more »

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Classic. Period.


This is one of those rare albums that can change your life. This was my introduction to Conor's writing and song style and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I can remember just sitting in my car or my house reading the lyrics, while each song played and being blown away. I don't listen to this album all that much any more (probably because I know every note by heart by now), but it is definitely in my Top 10 ever. It may not be for everyone, but if you can get chills hearing a song like "Bowl of Oranges", than you know what I mean.

user avatar

Nice Intro


This is a nice intro to Bright Eyes. The song "Lover I Don't Have to Love" is worth the whole album download itself.

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Bright Eyes is great


The only album I never could get into by Bright Eyes was Digital Ashes. 'Lifted...' is a great one, and it's right up there with 'I'm Wide Awake...' as being close to my favorite.

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I'm a generally cynical, snarky guy, but Bowl of Oranges is one of maybe three songs in the world that has actually made me cry. Just a beautiful, beautiful album. Incredibly smart lyrics, lovely tunes and arrangements, these songs take you on a real emotional journey. Sincere and sophisticated - if you are going to get only one Bright Eyes album, it should be this one.

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emotional spillway


there's a ton going on here and you really don't get the full-effect without listening to the album straight through. this one makes me want to scream at certain points because it's so raw and so full of huge instrumentation to accompany oberst's otherwise stripped down style.

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a mix of emotions and bad singing which is good...


yeah... he cant sing well but that is what makes it raw and awesome and the instrumentation throughout is pleasing... one of my most played albums

eMusic Features


36 Songs To Soothe the Pain

By Wondering Sound Staff, Contributor

Whether you're happily married or told Cupid to shove it a long time ago, we can all agree on one thing: to quote the one-and-only Nazareth, "Love hurts/ Love scars/ Love wounds/ And mars." Or something. That's why we went ahead and compiled a list of 36 Songs To Soothe the Pain, from the bloodletting confessionals of Neko Case, Bright Eyes and Sunny Day Real Estate to the melancholic melodies of Sigur Rós, the Shangri-Las… more »

They Say All Music Guide

When Bright Eyes brainchild Conor Oberst issued Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground in August 2002, he was 22 years old. Critics were already calling him the “indie Bob Dylan,” but the new millennium had seen a lot of those introverted, intelligent types (Ryan Adams, Beck). Bright Eyes, though, delivered a solid, intricately produced album without the majors’ monotony. Immediately, one can sense Oberst’s literate approach. His vocal curdle is abrasive yet warm. It’s similar to the cooing of Robert Smith, but lush in heartache like Paul Westerberg, leaving the storybook of Lifted or The Story to earn massive praise. “Waste of Paint” is rough-cut with edgy acoustics, while “From a Balance Beam” glows with pop-like optimism. Chimes and simple drumming keep the story of personal insecurity and the fear of the unknown coming alive in a dreamy sort of way. Even when he’s aching his way through the pop rumble of “Method Acting,” Bright Eyes convincingly lures one into his eclectic musical world. Oberst obviously has the talent to support the hype. “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” is a dark number with its Radiohead-like doom and gloom; however, the piano swirl of “A Bowl of Oranges” offers a brighter reflection. On Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Bright Eyes has mixed badness with beauty for a sonic storybook that relates to everyone. It’s slightly overwhelming at first, but one must allow a grace period to fully absorb the abstract desire behind this album. – MacKenzie Wilson

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