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Outer South


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Audio CD, May 5, 2009
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Outer South + Conor Oberst [Vinyl] + Upside Down Mountain
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Editorial Reviews

While touring in support of last year's debut "Conor Oberst", Conor and The Mystic Valley Band began writing new songs. The result is the first album credited to this group. Oberst's songwriting and delivery remain an engaging presence, but the addition of songs by Taylor Hollingsworth, Nik Freitas, and Jason Boesel make for a multi-textured and colorful collaboration. The Mystic Valley band also includes Macey Taylor and Nathaniel Walcott.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Slowly (oh so slowly) 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. To All The Lights In The Windows 5:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Big Black Nothing 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Air Mattress 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Cabbage Town 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Ten Women 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Difference Is Time 5:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Nikorette 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. White Shoes 5:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Bloodline 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Spoiled 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Worldwide 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Roosevelt Room 5:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Eagle on A Pole 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. I Got the Reason 7:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Snake Hill 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 5, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B001VKSPNW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,937 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Schwarz on May 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
There is abundant evidence on all Bright Eyes album that Conor Oberst is one of the grand songwriters of our days. Outer South contains some of his finest songs and, surprisingly, pearls sung by various Mystic Valley Band members that are virtually at par with his.

My favorite song on the album is I Got The Reason #2, a song that has been a widely acclaimed fan favorite during his recent tour to promote his eponymous last album. The studio version is very well done. It starts very slow, gains momentum, and finally features a wonderful guitar riff, that makes one wish that a guitar hero like Jack White would play a 10-minute version, a kind of I Got The Reason #3. It surely was the right decision not to put #1, sung by Jason Boesel, on the album. Including "In the pages of the Rolling Stone" in his lyrics may be Conor's way of expressing his gratitude for the best songwriter award of 2008 that the magazine bestowed on him.

Ten Women is a masterpiece as well. Conor sings about the thrill and shame of short-lived relations and "that he is biding his time like a seller of wine" while his band excels as background vocalists. In To All The Lights In The Window Conor speaks to both leaders and followers and accurately describes "that's the thing about charisma, it makes everyone believe that there is nothing impossible..."

Slowly and Spoiled are great songs whose studio version have long been awaited by the many fans who have seen him on his world tour. That Conor can master slow and heavy songs equally well is exemplified by White Shoes and Roosevelt Room.

What is truly amazing is that the songs that are not performed by Conor himself are equally well done.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Antiquity on May 22, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wow, usually albums are completely over-rated by users on Amazon, but the opposite is true in this case. This is a great album, to me maybe Oberst's best (or at least my favorite). Apparently this album is not for huge fans of his previous work, with the consensus being that the charm of Bright Eyes is gone on this new record. Not being a big fan of Bright Eyes, I really like this record and much prefer this sound and loose album feel over his earlier records. I have a feeling that C. Oberst is enjoying not making an overly emotional, overly serious album and is really enjoying making the music on this record. I think Dylan comparisons are off, but you may consider this a "Basement Tapes"-type of album.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Digianvittorio on May 12, 2009
Format: Audio CD
After deciding to digest this somewhat critically panned album for a week prior to formally judging it myself I feel that I can offer an honest review on Conor Oberst (and his recent band's most recent work).

Outer south is easy enough on the ears (save Air Mattress) but is simply an average alt-rock record that would not get any attention if not for its namesake's prior credit. I'm a big fan of Oberst, but feel the last great album he made was I'm Wide Awake Its Morning. Digital Ash being better than Cassadaga in my opionion and Cassadaga being much better than Outer South. His self titled release has a few gems but also sounds a bit distant from Oberst's most potent honesty.

To me, Oberst sounds bored but having fun. No chances being taken, very little at stake (its not a "Bright Eyes" album...which i think he's saving his better songs for), and rather tired song writing. Some of Oberst's songs do well with repeated listens: White Shoes; Ten Women; All The Lights In The Windows; I Got a Reason #2; and maybe Roosevelt Room. I actually think Nik Freitas's contributions are some of the stronger songs on the album. "Eagle on a Pole" and "Difference is Time" are listenable too (but sound oddly likely what Evan Dando would be doing with a proper recording budget). Taylor Hollingsworth's contributions just don't do anything for me. My main issue is with Oberst's contributions. I hate hearing him of all people go through the motions.

I look forward to a new Bright Eyes album with Mike Mogis. I bet Conor does too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Martin on May 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
With his third album in as many years, and the second sans his Bright Eyes moniker, it seems clear that Conor Oberst is trying to leave his old persona behind him. The first signs of this were on 2007's Cassadaga, a Bright Eyes album in name only. Oberst's trademark angst and out of control vocals were mostly gone and in their place was a smooth, controlled set of indie-folk songs that seemed to be full of a sense of comfort and peace. Then last year, he shed his old name completely for his first proper, self titled solo album. Now he's back with a full backing band and it's clear that his old Bright Eyes identity is the farthest thing from his mind.

Not that that's a bad thing. As Oberst pushes 30, he runs the risk of not being able to pull off his old theatrics anymore, at least not in a way which anyone would take him seriously. Screaching vocals and navel gazing can be pulled off by a guy in his early to mid twenties, but after that you proably need to find a new voice and direction. So that is where we find one of indie-rock's most gifted songwriters and lyricists--wondering where to go next. Here's hoping that this album is not the answer.

Outer South is not a bad album. The band sounds great on every song and Oberst still turns out some decent melodies. But even his best efforts here (Slowly, (Oh so slowly), To All the Lights in the Windos, Ten Women) pale in comparison to some of the weaker material on his Bright Eyes albums. The lyrics aren't all that great either. Oberst has always been one of the better lyricists of his generation, but you wouldn't know it here. He also turns the reigns over to his bandmates a few too many times for mediocre results. Finally, at 70 minutes, this album is far too long.
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