Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst

Written by: TL on 16/09/2008 00:04:23

When it was made public that the famed frontman of Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, was going to release an album under his own name, obviously people first thought that there'd be drama and a change in sound involved. The reality of the matter, however, is that one of Oberst's two regular collaborators, Mike Mogis (multi-instrumentalist and producer), wasn't available at the time, and that Oberst simply didn't feel like it was fair to call the new record a Bright Eyes-album without him.

That being said, on "Conor Oberst", the leading man and his friends in "The Mystic Valley Band", have picked up pretty much where Bright Eyes left off on "Cassadaga", meaning that we're treated to more folksy singer/songwriting acoustics that would make the great Bob Dylan himself proud. There's no mind blowing variety present and no super-catchy choruses, and yet Oberst and friends still manage to wedge almost every single song into the awareness of the listener, with little more than a handful of listens. I'd single out "Cape Canaveral" and "Get-Well-Cards", but really, any of the songs will serve as sufficient examples.

What's most interesting is that in my review of "Cassadaga", I criticized the band for having abandoned some of the more noisy and upbeat songs of "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning", and thus it's not without joy that I welcome the joyfully piano-driven "I Don't Wan't To Die (In The Hospital)" and short "NYC-Gone. Gone", which both serve to live up the otherwise rather quiet setting of the album.

Other than that, there really is little to say, other than that Conor Oberst has done it again. The songs on this record aren't quite as quirky as those on "Cassadaga", but that's just a plus if you ask me, as they only seem stronger for it. In any case, this is an album that will keep the promises that Bright Eyes' material has made to Oberst-fans, while serving as an introduction to the man that's as good as most of any other releases he's been involved in. It's not going to overwhelm anyone, revolutionize any genres or overturn the established highlights of Conor's career, but that doesn't stop it from being pretty good, just for its own sake.

Download: Get-Well-Cards, I Don't Wan't To Die (In The Hospital), Cape Canaveral
For The Fans Of: Bright Eyes, Ryan Adams, City And Colour, Bob Dylan

Release date 05.08.2008
Merge/Wichita Records

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