Album Review – Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain

Oberst Upside down Mountain

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First Impressions

The production is impressive and rich. Oberst is trying new things. It’s refreshing that he’s still taking risks and not settling for the status quo. He’s working with a new producer, stepping into something different and new. I’m simply thankful that he is not dead and is still creating music. Anyone familiar with Oberst knows that this man probably should be dead. He even says on the record that he has cheated death and will get caught some day.

The chorus’s and drums remind me of The Cure for the first three songs. The drums are vintage. The guitars are scattered, counter-acting each other’s strumming’s in stereo.

Hundreds of Ways stands out as a gem. It’s simply beautiful. The structure of the song is ingenious. The lyrics are profound.

Rarely does an artist get more abstract and less interested in commercial music as his career progresses. It seems Oberst is more interested in maturing his craft as a songwriter than getting a paycheck. That’s saying a lot.

Oberst’s lyrics require re-listening to the album several times to get the most out of them. He always hides gems throughout.

Its always nice when he strips down the third verse of a song and shares some final thoughts.

Mother’s Child is an instant classic.

Governor’s Ball is a favorite. It has a throwback, psychedelic feel to it. The structure of the song is complex, catchy. The production is intricate and complex.

Some of the songs are so ethereal, they are barely held together by strings and dusty snare drums.

His music is primarily a recovery agent from all of the wreckage of his past it seems.

Common Knowledge is a fitting close.. for a hopeful future. He addresses the ideal people often have of the ideal artist – that he must end in suicide. It’s much more than this too in this song.

The flow of the lyrics keep you listening and longing for more.

Well done.

7.5/10

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