|Conor Oberst — Ruminations (14 October 2016)|
Conor Oberst — Ruminations (14 October 2016)
♣ Poslední dokument o jeho posedlosti únikem, smrtí, plynutím času a potenciálním nalezení klidu ve smyšlené identitě.
♣ Ruminations is a record like none other in Conor Oberst’s catalog, stunning for how utterly alone he sounds. Bright Eyes frontman known for introducing indie fans to singer/songwriter tropes like trembling vocals, acoustic guitar, and a confessional approach.
♣ Collings OM2H
♣ Collings 01SB
Born: February 15, 1980 in Omaha, NE
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Album release: 14 October 2016
Recording date: February 11, 2016 & February 12, 2016
Record Label: Nonesuch
01 Tachycardia 3:39
02 Barbary Coast (Later) 4:12
03 Gossamer Thin 3:35
04 Counting Sheep 3:29
05 Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch) 3:56
06 The Rain Follows the Plow 3:28
07 A Little Uncanny 4:15
08 Next of Kin 3:26
09 You All Loved Him Once 3:49
10 Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out 4:12
℗ 2016 Nonesuch Records Inc.
⦿→ Ben Brodin Engineer
⦿→ Julia Brokaw Cover Photo
⦿→ Gary Burden Art Direction, Design
⦿→ Simone Felice Liner Notes
⦿→ Jenice Heo Art Direction, Cover Image, Design
⦿→ Bob Ludwig Mastering
⦿→ Mike Mogis Mixing
⦿→ Conor Oberst Composer, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Voices
→ As raw and emotionally direct as Oberst has ever sounded. Ruminations finds the singer/songwriter on his own for a set of stark and often unsettling folk — captured over two wintry days in his Nebraska home, following the discovery of a cyst on his brain. “They say a party can kill you,” he sings on “A Little Uncanny,” amid a blur of harmonica and brittle acoustic guitar. “Sometimes I wish it would.”
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger / Score: ****
⦿→ Recorded in less than 48 hours with longtime collaborator Mike Mogis and engineer Ben Brodin, Ruminations sees Conor Oberst going full~on Nebraska, delivering a raw, difficult, and often beautiful set of deeply personal songs with minimal accompaniment. His seventh solo album and first since 2014’s Upside Down Mountain, Ruminations is a far cry from the fiery, politically charged punk of 2015’s Desaparecidos outing Payola. That said, it delivers much of what fans have come to expect from the prolific, erudite midwesterner; alternately shambolic and stately distillations of life’s hardships, delivered with honesty and wobbly conviction. Written during a particularly challenging time that found Oberst battling anxiety, depression, laryngitis, and a host of other medical ills, the ten~track set bristles with the unease that comes with having to confront a particularly large swath of the unknown. Utilizing piano, guitar, and occasionally harmonica, Oberst wrestles with past, present, and future, but most of the aptly named LP concerns itself with loss. It’s not the prettiest or easiest of records, nor is it Oberst’s finest outing to date, but it does house some real gems, including the emotionally charged opener “Tachycardia,” the thoughtful, Dylan~esque “You All Loved Him Once,” and the barbed and broken “A Little Uncanny,” the latter of which manages to pay homage to Jane Fonda, take down Ronald Reagan, and eulogize Robin Williams, Christopher Hitchens, Oliver Sacks, and Sylvia Plath, all in just over four minutes.
STEPHEN THOMPSON, September 29, 2016, 7:00 AM ET
⦿→ Ever since his early teens, songwriting has come fairly quickly to Conor Oberst. Whether as a solo artist, with Bright Eyes, in Desaparecidos, or in the supergroup Monsters Of Folk, he’s stayed steadily prolific while performing with nervy intensity at every stop on his winding and unpredictable career path. So it makes sense that Oberst would need a break, and that it would take him back to a quiet winter spot back home in Omaha.
⦿→ It also makes sense that he’d end up spending that time writing a record, albeit a quiet one, with the telling title Ruminations. Gone are the lush, soulful full~band arrangements of his 2014 solo album Upside Down Mountain, to say nothing of Desaparecidos’ blistering rock. Here, Oberst’s distinctive warble is set against a spare patchwork of acoustic guitar, piano and the occasional harmonica, drawing most of the attention squarely to his words.
⦿→ The effect can be raw, rustic, even shambling — the whole thing was recorded, with the aid of longtime collaborator Mike Mogis and engineer Ben Brodin, in less than 48 hours — but the songwriting remains on point. Recorded during a bleak Nebraska winter in the aftermath of a serious health scare involving a cyst in the singer’s brain, these are some of Oberst’s darkest and most personal songs, rooted in isolation, with less overt politics (“A Little Uncanny” aside) and more reflection befitting Ruminations‘ title.
⦿→ Throughout the record, Oberst tells stories of human fragility, channeling weary numbness (“Next of Kin”), the search for comfort and escape (“Barbary Coast [Later]”), the frayed nerves of a man just barely holding his life together (“Gossamer Thin”), and a fight against self~medicating and otherwise self~destructive impulses (“Counting Sheep”). In that last song, Oberst directly references his own health — “Life is a gas / What can you do? / Catheter piss / Fed through a tube / Cyst in the brain / Blood on the bamboo” — making it clear that he’s not merely playing roles here. That unsparing quality helps Ruminations stand out, no matter how simple its adornment.
⦿→ Bright Eyes released another album, 2007’s Cassadaga, before Oberst decamped to rural Mexico to work on his first solo effort in years. Recorded in a makeshift studio with a cast of musicians dubbed the Mystic Valley Band, the self~titled Conor Oberst arrived in 2008. While on the road in support of that album, the Mystic Valley Band found time to compose another album, this time highlighting the group’s collaborative spirit. Released in 2009, Outer South featured lead vocals and songwriting contributions from several members, a move that expanded the band’s sound without threatening Oberst’s status as bandleader. Three years later, a documentary about the Mystic Valley Band called One of My Kind appeared on DVD accompanied by a soundtrack collection of B~sides, outtakes, and the tour~only Gentleman’s Pact EP. In late 2012, Oberst hit the road once again on a tour of North America and Europe, where he would play a variety of music from his many different monikers. Oberst then worked with producer Jonathan Wilson on the 2014 release Upside~Down Mountain, his first album for Nonesuch Records. The following year, Oberst retreated to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. It was there that he spent the winter writing and recording his seventh album, Ruminations, which saw release in 2016.
Ian Cohen, OCTOBER 12 2016; Score: 7.5
⦿→ “You All Loved Him Once” almost gets there. A song before it, Oberst admits, “I met Lou Reed and Patti Smith/It didn’t make me feel different,” and he spends six verses probing the inevitable disillusion and futility of hero worship. Unless you assume Conor Oberst affords himself the same grandiose self–belief as Kanye West, it seems that half of “You All Loved Him Once” at most, could be considered autobiographical. Some of it is almost certainly about Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama, or even just a friend who’s gotten too successful. But towards the end, some lines ring just too painfully true: “The more and more was put on him, he tried his best to take it on...you all loved him once/now he is gone”, he sings, and rather than making Oberst sound entitled, he comes off as someone legitimately disillusioned after an unimaginably awful public ordeal. But in the very next song, he’s gone off to an Irish pub in the East Village, trying to find a friend who’ll drink with him until they get kicked out. He’s still Conor Oberst, after all. (excerpt. ♣ http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/22488-ruminations/)
|Conor Oberst — Ruminations (14 October 2016)|