Thursday, September 4, 2008

Album of the Week: Conor Oberst / Conor Oberst

I was a little confused by this record at first, namely why it wasn't coming out on Saddle Creek and why it wasn't under Oberst's Bright Eyes moniker which he's used since 2005. Perhaps that is just it - Oberst was a teenager when he started making Bright Eyes records, and the time has come for something new. With his first official solo record, Oberst sounds like a musician who has genuinely come into his own on all fronts. While the charm of early Bright Eyes records was always the naieve songwriting - the belief that he had learned all there was to know about life and love at a young age. No, as a songwriter, Oberst does sound wise, embracing the "new Dylan" he'd been lapped with, while also channeling greats like Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen and John Fogerty. While he was always one to mix styles and often create pretentiously long epics, Oberst now seems to have found a calling somewhere between edgy folk and twangy country. He's also honed his songcraft to the point where he can condense his ideas into a 3-4 minute song, making the moments where he actually unleashes all the more powerful. Favorite line of the record: "You taught me victory's sweet even deep in the cheap seats."


Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is definitely a country leaning on this album, and I think it really works. I was a bit disappointing that it didn't capture the energy of the Mystic Valley Band's live performance, but the album has really grown on me.

Allison said...

That's one of my favourite lines on the record too. I need to revisit this album, so much new music this summer this album was replaced by Calexio too soon.