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Teenage-voiced Oberst grows up

Album review of Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain”

By Huong Truong | May 21, 2014

Tags: Music Reviews

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Need an album to play in the background as you ponder some of life’s most philosophical questions? Conor Oberst’s new album, “Upside Down Mountain,” works perfectly. Almost ten years after his 2005 release, “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning” with his band Bright Eyes, Oberst again inspires his listeners with a solo album touching upon his fascination of life, love and maturity.

Oberst masters his quivering voice, strategically emphasizing his simplistic yet deep lyrics. The quivering may get redundant. However, the album does well expressing its variety of songs, from the upbeat “Hundreds of Ways” to the more somber “Night at Lake Unknown.”

Like Oberst professes, “It ain’t perfect/Nothing is” in “Double Life,” his new album is not perfect. His voice becomes monotonous at times, but the meat of his work lies not in the shaky teenage-like vocals. The best contribution of “Upside Down Mountain” remains in Oberst’s writing. The folk artist’s lyrics are profound and mature. “Common Knowledge” reflects upon “love’s illusion” and “You Are Your Mother’s Child” goes through the nostalgia of a parent watching his child grow up.

Overall, the album is a charming, laid-back listen. Grab some coffee, stare out a window and press play. Just as “there are hundreds of ways to get through the day,” there are countless of ways to get through this album.

MOVE gives Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain” 4 out of 5 stars.

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