Upside Down Mountain (CD)


Conor Oberst

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Amoeba Review

05/18/2014

Whether as the frontman of Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos or solo, Conor Oberst has always placed the utmost importance on pure emotion. His latest solo album not only continues to establish Oberst as a convincing Americana artist, first unveiled on his still-excellent Bright Eyes album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, it recasts his form of emotive songwriting into the framework of a thirysomething pausing to reflect, rather than a twentysomething processing raw feeling. “Moved to a town that time forgot / where I don't have to shave or be approachable,” he sings in escapist fantasy on the album’s opening, over a stunning, Laurel Canyon-style backdrop. Light country touches and singalong melodies dot “Zigzagging Toward the Light,” one of the catchier tunes in Oberst’s estimable catalog. Despite this newfound maturity, Oberst is still a shitkicker at heart. The music leaves a little allowance for rebelliousness, like the way “Zigzagging erupts into a corrosive solo at its finish. And Oberst can’t stop his bleeding heart from dripping on what are on the surface tastefully restrained songs. Oberst trades between a keening country drawl and his Robert Smith-inspired vocal shake on “Lonely at the Top,” a classic country style lament that seems to prove country was the original emo—“the heart can’t comprehend the panorama” is a particularly choice line—and “Enola Gay” is a detail-laden yet intriguingly elusive picture of a drama queen who “mashes Charles Manson songs up with showtunes.” Even while mining roots music for inspiration, Oberst remains an original on Upside Down Mountain.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Time Forgot
Conor Oberst 04:34
2.
Zigzagging Toward The Light
Conor Oberst 04:03
3.
Hundreds Of Ways
Conor Oberst 04:28
4.
Artifact #1
Conor Oberst 04:23
5.
Lonely At The Top
Conor Oberst 03:45
6.
Enola Gay
Conor Oberst 02:22
7.
Double Life
Conor Oberst 03:56
8.
Kick
Conor Oberst 03:39
9.
Night At Lake Unknown
Conor Oberst 04:15
10.
You Are Your Mother's Child
Conor Oberst 03:49
11.
Governor's Ball
Conor Oberst 04:18
12.
Desert Island Questionnaire
Conor Oberst 05:41
13.
Common Knowledge
Conor Oberst 04:59

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Also available in: LP
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