|I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning|
|Studio album by Bright Eyes|
|Released||January 25, 2005|
|Recorded||February 2004 in Presto! Recording Studios, Lincoln, Nebraska|
|Genre||Folk, folk rock, alternative country|
|Label||Saddle Creek LBJ-72|
|Bright Eyes chronology|
This was the first Bright Eyes album to feature Nate Walcott, who is now a permanent member of the band.
They achieved success in the charts when the singles "Lua" and "First Day of My Life" took the top two positions in the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart in 2004. In 2005, the band set off on a two-part world tour to promote the album along with Digital Ash in a Digital Urn, with the first half of the tour centring on the folk-influenced first album, and the latter half featuring the more electronic second album. Both records made it into the Top 20 of the Billboard album charts, with I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning peaking at number 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and at number 2 on the Billboard independent albums chart. The tour was captured on the album Motion Sickness, released later in the year.
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Like the two Bright Eyes albums before it, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning opens with a spoken recording, this time by Conor Oberst himself. The monologue is a short story about two strangers on an airplane that is about to fall into the ocean. Nearing the crash, one of the passengers begins to sing, "At the Bottom of Everything," the opening song of the album. The simple, four-chord folk song is one of Oberst's trademark sarcastic social commentaries on American ideals: "We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul. And in this endless race for property and privilege to be won, we must run..."
This song made its television debut on the April 30, 2004 episode of Late Late Show. The short story was replaced with a dedication to the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the President of the United States, George W. Bush. "Two men I admire a lot," declared Oberst, "for their biceps and for their creepy, fascist agendas," after which Conor counted the song in "1, 2, 6, 6, 6." The conclusion of the story during the bridge was replaced by Oberst shouting "M. Ward for president!"
|Los Angeles Times|||
|The Village Voice||A-|
I'm Wide Awake It's Morning received critical acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, the album received an average score of 85 out of 100, based on 33 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim."Los Angeles Times describes it as "An album with the simmering glow of a masterpiece."Drowned in Sound critic Sean Adams called the album a "thing of awe", praising the lyrics and "calculated attention to detail".Pitchforks Chris Dahlen gave the album 8.7 out of 10 and states "I'm Wide Awake weaves the personal and the political more fluidly than most singers even care to try, and the consummate tunefulness just strengthens those moments where he pinches a nerve."
In a less positive review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic criticized Oberst's "heavy-handed pretension in the words and [...] affectedness in his delivery," calling the album proof that "instead of reaching musical maturity, he's wallowing in a perpetual adolescence."
Up to 2014, the album has sold 522,000 copies in US.  In 2007 it was awarded a gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association which indicated sales of at least 100,000 copies throughout Europe.
The album was ranked on several lists for best albums released during the year 2005.
|Amazon.com Editor's Picks||79|
All tracks written by Conor Oberst.
|1.||"At the Bottom of Everything"||4:34|
|2.||"We Are Nowhere and It's Now"||4:12|
|3.||"Old Soul Song (For the New World Order)"||4:29|
|5.||"Train Under Water"||6:05|
|6.||"First Day of My Life"||3:08|
|7.||"Another Travelin' Song"||4:16|
|8.||"Land Locked Blues"||5:47|
|10.||"Road to Joy"||3:54|
I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn were the first Bright Eyes albums on which Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, and Nate Walcott became the three permanent members of Bright Eyes.