Conor Oberst delivers his first album free of the Bright Eyes name since 2004 on Merge Records, and not surprisingly it is of the same quality as any of those releases from his well known moniker. This time working without his long time collaborator Mike Mogis and instead with his assembled Mystic Valley Band (which includes Taylor Hollingsworth) in a quiet part of Mexico. Where he reported his favorite place to be was in a hammock as the sun came up. In that way, the cover of the album is perfect because many of the songs take on the feel that they could have been played softly from a hammock late at night and early into the morning. You can feel that Conor really had fun recording this album, there's still creative forays into the heavy topics of life, death and love that have become something of a signature for the Omaha born songwriter, but the approach is lighter, more whimsical. Like the ferocity of the spirit to live when faced with death on "I Don't Want to Die (in a hospital)" or when he exclaims that there's no more room in heaven on "Souled Out!!!" he doesn't seem frightened or angry, in fact he seems amused by the thought. His amusement is contagious.
Conor Oberst - Souled Out!!!
Conor Oberst - I Don't Want to Die (in a hospital)
Bright Eyes - Reinvent the Wheel
Bright Eyes Myspace