Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Conor Oberst – “Upside Down Mountain”

Conor Oberst returns with Upside Down Mountain - his second album released under his own name – it is out this week via his new label, Nonesuch Records.  The new album ditches the wordy “emo-folk” of his early Bright Eyes work for more mature and direct lyrical themes but his voice is just as distinct as it ever was.  For example, the memorable melodies of opener "Time Forgot" and "Desert Island Questionnaire" will induce nostalgia for his early albums.  The album also finds Conor experimenting with his folk-leaning sound as the music is laced with infectious tropical pop flourishes like on the standout single, “Hundreds Of Ways” with its jaunty horns and bouncy rhythm.  Another standout, “Kick” features a distorted electric guitar riff that gives way to a fidgety Caribbean guitar line and propulsive rhythm.  Likewise, crunchy guitars dissolve into rafters-reaching swells of organ and wispy pedal steel along with soulful background vocals from Klara and Johanna Söderberg of First Aid Kit on “Governor’s Ball”. Oberst is also assisted in the studio by a host of his long-time collaborators such as Mike Mogis, Nate Walcott, Macey Taylor, Blake Mills and producer Jonathan Wilson. 
Dealing with the idea of death and growing older, Oberst sings lines like “There’s a better life on the other side” and “I hope I am forgotten when I die” with expected conviction but the excellent Upside Down Mountain is yet another triumph in a career that won’t soon be forgotten no matter how hard he tries.    

Listen to “Hundreds Of Ways” here:

For more info:  http://www.conoroberst.com/


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