11. "The Center of the World"
Album: Fevers and Mirrors Year Recorded: 2000
Instead of a journey to the center of the earth, Oberst's reimagining of the middle of our planet includes statues and turning into sand. But as usual with Bright Eyes tracks, the lyrics are rife with hidden meanings. The song grapples with themes of life and what comes after, meaningless jobs that feel deadening, and the parts of life that are sweet and make it all worthwhile. Musically, the shuffle between heavy guitar riffs and sweetly-played bright organ capture the kaleidescope of emotions that the song cycles through. As Conor screams the last lines, it's hard to tell if the journey has all been a sleeping pill-induced dream or a passage through the earth to the afterlife—and the ambiguity mimics the very human uncertainty about life after death.