Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. The music doesn't always live up to the demands of the journey, but Oberst's trembling, vulnerable voice carries through to a rewarding conclusion.
  2. 91
    On Cassadaga, classic sounds are resurrected in a satisfying swirl of country, gospel, cinematic pop, and of course, electro-folk.
  3. Cassadaga is an assured and accomplished album; a classic constructed from classic elements.
  4. Under The Radar
    More sonically and lyrically ambitious than 2005’s I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and more fully realized than the scattershot Digital Ash In A Digital Urn, Cassadaga is Oberst’s most affecting and challenging full-length to date, and proves that he’ll be a defining figure in folk music for many years to come. [#17, p.83]
  5. Musically, it's his richest album yet, full of Nashville twang and Branson brassiness. And lyrically, the itinerant-traveler conceit is intriguing, even though its sweeping scope lacks the almost masochistically intimate power of earlier material.
  6. Spin
    Oberst's countryish genre studies have deepened with a very adult loneliness. [Apr 2007, p.89]
  7. Oberst's frequent comparisons to Bob Dylan won't suffer, but he has also conjured up some of his best tunes, especially Hot Knives and If the Brakeman Turns My Way, with themes of alienation and self-medication.
  8. The band's fullest and most developed record to date.
  9. Fantastic lyrical concepts, an improved musicianship and the addition of an orchestra make Cassadaga easily the most enjoyable Bright Eyes album as a whole.
  10. Cassadaga represents a next phase, one that will prove enduring even as the kids latch onto their next rock 'n' roll savior.
  11. Cassadaga is everything his fans would expect from him - mournful, moody and full of lovely melodies.
  12. "Cassadaga"... delivers on the wildly unlikely promise that very young, very gifted artists can grow up without losing their balance.
  13. Musically, Cassadaga is fully formed, a considered synthesis of the catch-as-catch-can expansiveness of Oberst's Lifted-era bands with the country tendencies that have always undergirded his Middle American vocals.
  14. This is about as close to a bid for mainstream acceptance as you're going to get from Bright Eyes.
  15. Heartfelt, honest and compelling, "Cassadaga" is garnished with melodies so lush that Bright Eyes' ascent to the next level of recognition is absolutely assured.
  16. Alternative Press
    [Cassadaga] finds Oberst cultivating a sophistication usually found in records made by people old enough to be his grandparents. [May 2007, p.150]
  17. Uncut
    Cassadaga is fulsome, epic, and swirling, by far Oberst's most sophisticated, seamless effort. [May 2007, p.89]
  18. One hopes that the next LP will pack a little less filler, and Bright Eyes will drop a 40-minute work as tight as their best four-minute works.
  19. Mojo
    Cassadaga is an album to warm souls, rally minds and break hearts in equal measure. [May 2007, p.110]
  20. Urb
    At once apocalyptic and born again. [May 2007, p.96]
  21. Q Magazine
    It's about 15 minutes and three songs too long. [May 2007, p.117]
  22. Paste Magazine
    As ambitious as this album is, there's a surprising lack of anguish on display. [Apr 2007, p.54]
  23. Blender
    An ambitious, twangy and faintly psychedelic folk-rock set that still may not convince haters he isn't a twerp. [May 2007, p.102]
  24. A pretty decent album with a lot of filler.
  25. It isn't that Cassadaga is necessarily bad, but where I'm Wide Awake was compact and graceful, the new record lumbers, belaboring Conor Oberst's anguish about the state of the world.
  26. Cassadaga, while not exceptional in Oberst's canon, demonstrates a maturity that ensures his legacy beyond emo-folk.
  27. 'Cassadaga' is much less of a draining emotional journey for both chief player and listener alike than Bright Eyes previous work.
  28. The political lyrics are the most troublesome.
  29. Billboard
    It's a pleasant enough, if uneven work. [14 Apr 2007]
  30. Oberst's political criticism is most effective when he's humble and straightforward, yet his overwrought poetics seem laughable, childish and blinkered when applied to world affairs.
  31. Cassadaga falters in the same way I’m Wide Awake did: by trying to present his views as universal, it just exposes how Conor Oberst can’t handle the Truth.
  32. On Cassadaga Bright Eyes sounds like John Mayer.
  33. He is clearly searching for a more mature style. But the musical and rhetorical convolutions of “Cassadaga” are no substitute, yet, for the way he used to blurt things out. [9 Apr 2007]
  34. "Cassadaga" is an insular, self-referential album that strives for depth and profundity and sounds instead like a high-school poetry reading, full of rhyming-dictionary couplets and banal pronouncements about life.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 116
  2. Negative: 10 out of 116
  1. Jan 28, 2021
    The Masterful Psychological Narrative of "Cassadaga" by Bright Eyes
    12/12 Masterpiece of an Album
    I discovered this album after watching
    The Masterful Psychological Narrative of "Cassadaga" by Bright Eyes
    12/12 Masterpiece of an Album
    I discovered this album after watching Phoebe Bridgers' "What's in the Bag" video and hearing her talk about this album. I also previously discovered Bright Eyes through her. After hearing "Down in the Weeds" many times and listening to various live performances, I decided to listen to this album. My initial listen was similar to that of "Punisher" or "Down in the Weeds", where I felt kind of indifferent but the more I listened, the more I exponentially adored the album. As of now, I think I've listened to this album 10–15 times.
    It is a fantastic album that strangely blends different styles, which is why I think I adore it so much. It's mostly alternative rock/indie rock, but seems to blend alternative country and folks and incorporates symphonic and experimental elements.
    Bangers: "Clairaudients", "Four Winds", "If the Brakeman Turns My Way", "Hot Knives", "Make a Plan to Love Me", "Soul Singer in a Session Band", "Classic Cars", "Middleman", "Cleanse Song", "No One Would Riot For Less", "Coat Check Dream Song", "I Must Belong Somewhere"
    Yes. Every track is a banger.
    Full Review »
  2. Steve
    Feb 11, 2008
    This is an outstanding album. I hadn't heard much Bright Eyes before I got this album, so it's not to say that I am giving it a This is an outstanding album. I hadn't heard much Bright Eyes before I got this album, so it's not to say that I am giving it a high score just because I love the members of the band. Most people seem to tout "Four Winds" as the headlining song on this album and though it is good, it pales in comparison to "If the Brakeman Turns my Way," "Cleanse Song," or "Middleman." "Four Winds" is the song that appeals to the largest group of people, which explains its long stretch of playtime on the radio. As most know, the vast majority of what is played on the radio is complete crap. Full Review »
  3. darrylf
    Jul 28, 2007
    best album of this year so far