Conor Oberst

  • Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Aug 5, 2008
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Ultimately, Conor Oberst is a bit of a mixed bag, an album that’s often as frustrating as it is inviting. It is, however, a step in the right direction and a sure sign that Oberst is growing as a songwriter.
  2. Here, obsessed with his own mortality, Conor isolates himself from what stirs his best writing.
  3. While it's certainly refreshing to hear Oberst refrain from swaddling his emotionally-driven conceits in rock statesman's clothing, much of Conor Oberst seems too comfortably by-the-book to really leap off the page.
  4. Mojo
    60
    That bravery and those haunting songs make for an album that, while not the very best Oberst has made, buttresses his growing reputation as the best songwriter working today. [Sep 2008, p.102]
  5. A definite sense of fun permeates Conor Oberst, with the singer allowing himself to indulge a few whimsical idea's.
  6. From admittedly unsympathetic ears, it’s a fruitless mess caked with vanity and smothered by its own insular delusions of prosperity.
  7. Although Oberst's reedy voice may occasionally shine, this album needs a bang rather than a whimper.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Nov 17, 2011
    7
    Consistenly good without ever really catching fire anywhere. Enjoyable but overrated in my opinion. Cape Canaveral, Eagle on a Pole, MilkConsistenly good without ever really catching fire anywhere. Enjoyable but overrated in my opinion. Cape Canaveral, Eagle on a Pole, Milk Thistle are the highlights. Full Review »
  2. voodoocookie
    Aug 15, 2008
    10
    Conor nails it again. It doesn't sound too different from another Bright Eyes album but with each and every album his sound has been Conor nails it again. It doesn't sound too different from another Bright Eyes album but with each and every album his sound has been evolving. You can't really still expect him to sound like the fever/lifted days. Lyrics and music still top notch and he seems to be enjoying himself here which is nice to see! Full Review »
  3. ChadS.
    Aug 11, 2008
    10
    If you're good, you can get away with a faux-off-the-cuff spoken-word narrative about a surreal plane crash, before launching If you're good, you can get away with a faux-off-the-cuff spoken-word narrative about a surreal plane crash, before launching acoustically into your best Bob Dylan imitation, as the thirsty Conor Oberst audaciously pulled off with aplomb and confidence on "At the Bottom of Everything"(from "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning"). He recorded himself drinking a beverage, and I didn't mind at all. One song is all it took to make me a loyal fan. A first impression is everything. Now, he's an I. Maybe Oberst stopped hiding behind his Bright Eyes moniker as a response to the similar move made by Bill Callahan(he who was Smog), or, Jakob Dylan(he who was a Wallflower). On this eponymous debut, Oberst finally wrote a song that is equal to anything in the Dylan canon. "I Don't Want to Die(in the Hospital)" sounds like an update of "Bringing It All Back Home"-era Bob, updated by Gordon, circa 1984. Listen closely, and you just might hear a hint of "Never Tell" and "Jesus Walking on the Water" from the Violent Femmes' underrated "Hallowed Ground". While everybody is mining the sixties for his influences, Gordon Gano might be flying under the radar. "Souled Out" makes funny reference to "Knocking on Heaven's Door", in which the recently dead "won't be getting in" because heaven is "all souled out". Warren Zevon got in. But will there be room for Axl Rose? He has some explaining to do about the original cover art for "Appetite for Destruction". "NYC-Gone Gone" is a cool Slade-like rave-up. And finally, the album closes gracefully with "Milk Thistle", a langorous ballad that sort of recalls Cat Stevens' "Moon Shadow". Full Review »