Conor Oberst

July 24, 2008

“I watched your face age backwards
Changing shape in my memory
You told me victory’s sweet
Even deep in the cheap seats…”

Shedding his Bright Eyes moniker for the first time, Conor Oberst traveled to Tepoztlán, Morales, Mexico for this self-titled collection, working with a full band and continuing the expansive sound found on the last Bright Eyes release, Cassadaga. The opener, the anti-nostalgic “Cape Canaveral,” perhaps the highlight of the album, instantly became my favorite song of the moment: Like much of the rest of the album, it’s beautiful without being sentimental, literate without being overly cynical or clever, and possessed of an earthiness and a thorniness all Oberst’s own. The music is mostly in the alt-country and folk influenced rock mode, with echoes of the Band and Wilco, but there’s also “I Don’t Want To Die (In The Hospital),” a high spirited honky tonk rave-up squeezed in right in the middle of the album. The overall mood is relaxed and introspective, and mostly upbeat, as there is more hope and joy than despair and sadness to be found here in the music and lyrics. I resisted Oberst’s work for a long time, but I’ve since been won over, and it’s because of the kind of work he’s offering up here on this self-titled album. Definitely recommended, and perhaps for some listeners, even needed. Standout cuts: “Cape Canaveral,” “Danny Callahan,” “Souled Out!!!” and “Milk Thistle.”


3 Responses to “Conor Oberst”

  1. John Says:

    You say you’ve been won over… is that just to his new stuff or does that include the old stuff? I’m the complete opposite, his music since Lifted has failed to win me over minus a few songs.

  2. aurochsandangels Says:

    Whew – the title of this one worried me for a minute. When I saw just his name, I thought something had happened to Conor.

    I can’t wait to hear the album.

  3. radiondn Says:


    I’ve been won over in general to his work in recent years, so I guess we’re going in opposite directions with how much we like his current work!

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