Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst is normally known as Bright Eyes with his usual band, and has received numerous accolades for being the next generation's best songwriter. I know there are people that worship his music and others that despise it with a passion, I usually fall someplace in between. I can appreciate much of what he sings about, and his unique way of delivering a message which can sometimes be overly dramatic. Bright Eyes delivers gestures in grandiose style. Not so much in your face, but when all is said and done there is no confusion about his stance or feelings. His previous album Cassadaga came out last year and was pretty good, so to have another album out in such a short period of time would normally be a point worth noting except Oberst has always been a prolific song writer.

Conor Oberst is a self-titled release from an artist that has put out a few records already and is looking to partially re-invent himself. I don't really understand this strategy. The album was recorded in Mexico with a different bunch of friends comprising his new band. Their style is much the same as Bright Eyes if more tempered and laid back. When you listen to the new album there isn't anything drastically different that when it's over you'll think, "that was a Conor Oberst album" versus a Bright Eyes album. It's still mostly acoustic folk/country-rock with Oberst trying to use really large words when little ones would do just fine. The album has only a slightly different feel than before, and not nearly enough to warrant the name "change." Overall, it's a pretty solid album. It's laid back and more subdued with a slight Mecican twinge. If you like Bright Eyes, then you'll like Conor Oberst. If you don't like Bright Eyes, you probably already knew who Conor Oberst was, and have little interest now that he's officially out from behind his "group's" moniker.


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