Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Conor's Conor.

I wasn’t completly sold on Bright Eye’s last album, Cassadega. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a complete fan, but since Digital Urn, there really hasn’t been much in terms of “going out on a limb” happening. So I got Conor Oberst's self-titled album expecting no surprises. I knew I’d like it, but as the kind of music that I’d play in the background to say, dish washing or paying of bills.

While these are precisely the activities I did while giving Conor a spin (does that sound dirty?), I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I genuinely enjoy this album. It’s diverse, kinda happy (Conor, are you ok?) and reaaaally folky.

Only Oberst can write a song about palliative care (I Don’t Want to Die), pair it with a cheerful and frenetic piano melody and make it work. These new songs are not reinventing the wheel, but Conor sheds his whining along with the Bright Eyes alias. As poetic as always, this eponymous album is less self-deprecating, more big picture.

Some choice picks include Get-Well-Cards, which has a definite Dylan vibe (and vocabulary), and NYC-Gone, Gone, which is completely random and sounds strangely like a hoedown chant or a sports cheer. I must admit that my favourite song on the album is Lenders in the Temple, which just happens to be the most reminiscent of the good ol’ tortured days of early B.E.

Here is a little Conor, from me to you.


*As an aside, while trying to find a picture for this post, I kept disqualifying images because Conor Oberst looked too much like that crazy little brother in Wedding Crashers. Anyone ever notice that??

Conor Oberst - Lenders in the Temple

Conor Oberst - Get-Well-Cards

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