Conor Oberst: Upside Down Mountain
For most of his career, ‘at peace’ was never an apt description of Conor Oberst. But here we are, in 2014, and the man who sneered, “I want a lover I don’t have to love” a dozen years ago is releasing Upside Down Mountain—13 acoustic, country-folk songs that find Oberst sounding like an elder statesman of indie rock: relaxed, wise and free. Producer Jonathan Wilson’s gentle spirit suits Oberst on these sun-kissed tunes—all acoustic strumming, drizzling drums and the occasional, cheerful horn section. Oberst’s songwriting is still strong, but he’s far more at ease with the world around him, as dark as it may be. “The world is full of missing persons, all of these unsolved mysteries. If someone says they know for certain, they’re selling something certainly,” he sings on the moonlit “Artifact #1.” Grown-up Oberst won’t grab you; you’ll sit on the porch with him, pondering what it’s all about.