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Conor Oberst

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Audio CD, August 5, 2008
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Cape Canaveral 4:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Sausalito 3:10$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Get-Well-Cards 3:33$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Lenders In The Temple 4:35$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Danny Callahan 3:58$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Don't Want To Die (In The Hospital) 3:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Eagle On A Pole 4:42$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. NYC-Gone,Gone 1:11$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Moab 3:36$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. Valle Místico (Ruben Song)0:49$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. Souled Out!!! 3:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. Milk Thistle 5:21$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst’s debut album for Nonesuch Records, Upside Down Mountain, is, as its title implies, a study in contrasts, a glance up to the heavens and a glimpse into the abyss. “There’s a certain solitude to this record,” Oberst admits, and themes of loneliness, dislocation, and regret repeatedly surface. Yet its making was far from solitary, as Oberst ... Read more in Amazon's Conor Oberst Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 5, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B001APM3XQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,196 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Conor assembled a special band in Mexico for this recording, known amongst themselves and to friends as The Mystic Valley Band. Members include Nate Walcott, Jason Boesel, Macey Taylor, Nik Freitas, and Taylor Hollingsworth. The result is his first solo album in thirteen years, following "Water" (1993), "Here's To Special Treatment" (1994), and "Soundtrack To My Movie" (1995). In that time, he's recorded and performed in Commander Venus, Park Ave., Desaparecidos, and most notably Bright Eyes, his main musical vehicle for the past decade.

Customer Reviews

This is his best album to date.
I've been listening to this album straight in my car for the past week and I absolutely love it.
I love all the Bright Eyes albums so I bought this and have been happy with it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Cale E. Reneau on August 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD
By this time, we should all know what to expect from Conor Oberst - be it from a solo recording or a Bright Eyes record. For all of his talent, his skill as a songwriter, the changes from album to album have continually been slight (with the glaring exception of Digital Ash in a Digital Urn which was released simultaneously with a more traditional record). On this, his first solo record since wrapping up puberty, Oberst is in fine form; never straying far from his roots or his fans' expectations, but keeping things interesting enough to warrant several repeat listens.

Album-opener, "Cape Canaveral," is the exact opposite of what we heard from Oberst's last outing, Cassadaga. It's minimalist approach to music is nothing like the grand productions of that record, and honestly, it's a bit refreshing to hear. The song's "choruses" are a bit reminiscent of "We Are Nowhere and It's Now," but when your catalogue of songs is as massive as Oberst's, a bit of overlapping is bound to occur. Conor sings of things he's learned in his life, saying, "You told me victory is sweet, even deep in the cheap seats," and the imagery that it projects is truly beautiful. "Sausalito" takes a different approach. The upbeat, country rocker is more reminiscent of Johnathan Rice (ugh) or even Joe Walsh. It's catchy lyrics and subtle harmonies give it a light, bouncy aesthetic that is often missing from Conor's work. Could it be that Oberst is actually having fun on this record?

That definitely seems to be the case. While most of his musical career has been weighed down by the heaviness of his lyrics or the subject of his songs, Conor Oberst is much lighter all around.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Bradley on August 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It's best to start with one warning: some people simply don't like Conor Oberst's voice, whether it be on this album, or as a part of Bright Eyes or Desaparacidos. That being said, it is impossible to dispute Oberst's proficiency as a songwriter. As a lifelong Springsteen fan, I've always considered The Boss to be one of the best lyricists of all time. Since I became a fan of Bright Eyes and Oberst, I would now consider him to be better than Springsteen. Some of his lines are truly incredible, and the listener cannot help but be touched.
This album is unlike any Bright Eyes record. Bright Eyes songs have become known for their sad sound and slow rhythm that can be described as nothing but "depressing". While this album has a slow, sad song or two, it also has incredibly upbeat, fast-paced songs such as NYC-Gone, Gone, Souled Out, and I Don't Want to Die (in a Hospital).
Fans will be moved once again. I didn't understand the full power of this album until I saw him on concert this week. The venue featured a high cost front section full of people waiting for the next act, while the distant lawn area featured the most inexpensive admission available, and seemed to be home to all the Oberst fans. While singing "Cape Canaveral", Oberst made a gesture towards our section when he sang, "victory's sweet even deep in the cheap seats".
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on August 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Conor Oberst has been the heart and soul of Bright Eyes since he was but a wee emo teen, and despite short-lived side ventures like Park Ave. and Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes has been, for all intents and purposes, Oberst's main musical vehicle. Now finally ducking out from under that weighted alias, Omaha's preeminent songwriter has (technically) struck out on his own with the aid of the Mystic Valley Band, a name that sounds like it came straight from a tent revival. Conor has always been a chameleonic musician, switching from punk rock to orchestral pop to squawking electronica on various projects, but Conor Oberst is a treatise on what Conor does best: folk/rock at its most earnest, introspective, and musically accomplished.

"Cape Canaveral" starts out the record in the vein of 2005's I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, a simple acoustic melody framing Oberst's typically sharp lyrics beseeching "hey hey hey mother interstate / can you deliver me from evil?" Conor and the band traveled down to Mexico to record this album, and evidently the southern climate paid off, giving much of the record an abnormally relaxed vibe when taken in context with Oberst's other work.

"Sausalito" is a shuffling, optimistic country-rock tune about running away from the modern world, a common theme on an album that, above all else, celebrates the highway and the allure of American back roads. "Moab" is the best example of this, a pulsing guitar-rock with a dash of country spice that wouldn't sound out of place on Cassadaga. When Oberst triumphantly announces, "there's nothing that the road cannot heal," by then you're having too much fun to disagree with him either way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
There are two things surprising about Conor Oberst's first solo outing in almost a decade. ONE: It still sounds pretty much like a Bright Eyes disc. TWO: Given the political forcefulness of his classic I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning in its election cycle release, this album is quite non-topical. (Heck, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn sounded more like a solo album than this does.) These are probably a good thing in many listeners' perceptions, and overall, Oberst is playing to his strengths.

"Conor Oberst" is, first and foremost, an unabashed folk album. Oberst even trekked to Mexico to record it (as mentioned in both "Cape Canaveral" and "Sausalito"), and it seems to have loosened him up a bit. Both "NYC Gone Gone" and "I Don't Wanna Die In The Hospital" are truckin' numbers that rock more than anything on Cassadaga. In particular, "Hospital" sounds like a hoe-down jam that could have been played out for an extended period just because the players were getting a groove on. As one would expect form Oberst, the wordplay is exquisite (again begging the Dylan comparisons), with poetic metaphors scattered throughout.

However, when Oberst drops the facade and gets deeply personal, he comes up with a couple of the best songs of his career. For me, the highlights of this CD are "Lenders in the Temple" and "Milk Thistle." "Milk Thistle" closes the album on an optimistic note, with encouraging words from Oberst over a clean guitar and bass only arrangement.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


Topic From this Discussion
First Solo in 13 years?!?!
well i can only assume that considering that mike mogus and co. and considered part of Bright eyes(at least they have been since cassadega was released) maybe its just conor and nothing else... either way as someone who really enjoys bright eyes. i will be certain to pick this up with the high... Read More
Aug 3, 2008 by Patrick M. Moore |  See all 7 posts
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