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Danny Callahan

It used to be easy to write off all things Conor Oberst several years ago. However, his recent work trumps previous assumptions.

It used to be easy to write off Bright Eyes and, by extension, all things Conor Oberst several years ago. Not only were his music and lyrics very cloying in that way that terribly cloying, sophomoric, “serious,” music tries to be, but he was being championed by the most annoying people alive. But things can change. A close friend—who himself is neither emo nor a punk-ass bitch—successfully cajoled me into giving last year’s Cassadaga a chance, and surprised as I was, it’s good. The music is recorded and produced elegantly, which was unexpected from such lo-fi scenesters. The lyrics, too, are significantly better, focusing on a town of spiritual mediums and the mysterious strangeness they summon, and not, say, lovers Oberst doesn’t have to love (blargh). Anyway, his new self-titled, solo album promises to follow more in the steps of his band’s more recent work, though a bit more “old-timey.” And the lyrics are much better, too.

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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