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Single Review: Conor Oberst – I don’t want to die (in the hospital)

 
By on Monday, 3rd November 2008 at 7:33 pm
 

Conor OberstConor Oberst has always had the knack of causing division amongst his fans. Each one of his albums seems to have a completely different sound showing the talent and variety that Conor can produce. His latest album (bright eyes) has followed route and is nearly unrecognisable to past releases. The tracks on Bright Eyes also show the depth of skill Conor Oberst has and the tune that stands out has to be I don’t want to die (in the hospital).

Conor raves it up big time with this piano driven tune and the high octane tempo is sure to grab the ears attention. The song boasts exceptional lyrics such as “They don’t let you smoke and you can’t get drunk/ all there is to watch are these soap operas,” giving the track a fantastic sense of wit.

The tune is not some people’s cup of tea but its sheer oddness gives the track as well as the album a bit of extra charm. So what kind of thoughts do you need to produce this sort of manic song? When asked what inspired him, Oberst replied with a story of someone he met in a hospital. “This guy didn’t mind the idea of dying, but he just didn’t want to die in such an undignified place (as a hospital). He wanted to be out in the desert, under the stars. He told me if he was ever in a hospital that I should break him out. It’s a jailbreak song.”

The tune has its doubters but Conor Oberst has probably produced something for everyone in his career. Conor has a busy November tour list in America but if you can’t make the venues check out his Myspace.

Top photo comes from massayoshi oota’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons License.

 

Album review: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

 
By on Thursday, 24th July 2008 at 12:36 pm
 

We’ve recently teamed up with those lovely people over at the 405 and today bring you the first of a (hopefully) regular series of guest posts from their team of amazing authors. Below is a review of Conor Oberst‘s new album, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, which is sounding pretty good.

This is undoubtedly hands down the most exciting release of the year for me, and so when tonight presented the opportunity to get my grubby mits on the leak I did absolutely not have the self-restraint to turn the chance down. For somebody who has shamelessly adored everything Conor has produced for a good 5 years now, I wasn’t really expecting it to let me down, although Cassadaga didn’t do it for me quite as much as some of Bright Eyes’ previous releases, so I was cautious in getting my hopes up too high. Good news though – this album is sensational.

My impression of the Mystic Valley Band’s efforts thus far is pretty much without fault. Cape Canaveral begins the album quietly and understatedly, and fairly reminiscent of “Wide Awake” era Bright Eyes – a mellow and steady track which is sleepy yet still optimistic. After track one the album speeds up with several upbeat, more folky songs (“I Don’t Want To Die” is surprising to say the least, knowing Conor’s penchant for suicide songs).

While the slightly skeptical and often not-quite-making-sense lyrics are out once again in force, it’s easy to tell this is Conor straight away, but there are still a lot of surprising elements that set it apart, which has reassured me somewhat since I was more or less expecting this to sound like any other Bright Eyes release despite the new band name. In several songs Conor’s voice sounds a lot less polished like it did several albums back, there’s a splash of piano thrown into “Eagle On A Pole”, and “NYC – Gone, Gone” is something else altogether.

Bright Eyes has always felt like ‘travelling music’ to me – the albums you scroll straight to on your iPod as soon as you get into the car for a long trip, or on a boat, train or plane – and The Mystic Valley Band promises to be the same. Only “Moab” actually refers to travelling, but the whole album is a journey in itself.

It seems to me Conor has always saved the best till last as far as track listings go, and this album is no exception. “Milk Thistle” stands out probably above every other song. Easily the best lyrics of all, the nicest tone and the most comforting chord progression – very “Lime Tree” which is never and will never be a bad thing.

If anyone out there was waiting for Conor Oberst to let them down they’ll have to wait a while longer. Everyone get scouring the internet or looking forward to August 5th – we just found the best album of 2008.

 

Conor Oberst / August UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 19th June 2008 at 11:16 am
 

Conor OberstUS indie emo star Conor Oberst has announced some solo dates around the UK in late August as he treks around Europe doing the festival thing.

Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday 20th June at 9am.

Saturday 23rd August – Birmingham Academy 2
Tuesday 26th August – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Wednesday 27th August – London Electric Ballroom
Thursday 28th August – Manchester Academy 2
Saturday 30th August – Belfast Spring And Airbrake

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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