I just counted and there is something like, what, 1,000 reviews of the new Conor Oberst solo CD, which hit the store shelves today (sort through them all here). Taken as a whole, the average rating has been 3.5 stars or B+. The critics like it, and they like Oberst, who’s also done a shit-ton of press in support of this release. My take after listening to it for the past few weeks: It’s not dramatically different than what you’ve heard from Bright Eyes in the past, except for the much-needed stripped down production (and I think Oberst could take it down even further). While there’s nothing as striking as, say, “Lua” or “Waste of Paint” or “I Must Belong Somewhere,” the record still has its moments, including opener “Cape Canaveral,” country stomper “I Don’t Want to Die (in the Hospital)” and funky-hooked “Souled Out!!!” As a whole, it holds together as well as Wide Awake, and on a certain level, even better. It’s gonna be huge… for Merge.
Conversely, using Google News search, I’ve found considerably fewer (actually almost no) reviews of the new Faint CD, which also dropped today. I’m not sure why all the crickets, though I speculate on one possible reason in tomorrow’s column…
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