The new Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band disc, Outer South, dropped today on Merge. If you’re wondering what it sounds like, check out the stream at mergerecords.com. The Pitchfork review came out yesterday (here) with a rating of 4.9 — the lowest PF rating I’ve seen for an Omaha-based act in a while (or maybe ever). “As you might expect, Oberst’s reversion to logorrhea and emotional extremism here effectively eliminates the possibility that Outer South will possess any ensemble cohesion,” says the review, which was written in a style that’s about as inviting as a college thesis. On the other hand All Music Guide chief critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album 4 out of 5 stars (here) — the highest rating he’s ever given an Oberst-related record (He gave Wide Awake 2 stars). Says Erlewine, “Oberst himself seems swept up in the motion — he’s dropped his vocal affectations, his grandiose couplets, he’s happy to be leading a group that feels like a band of brothers — one that might not always sing in the same voice, but share a sensibility, something that gives Outer South a big human heart.” Rolling Stone, btw, gave it three and a half stars (here). My take? I’ve yet to sit down with my Mac and listen to the whole stream.
Tonight at The Waiting Room, former Television guitarist Richard Lloyd plays at The Waiting Room with The Third Men and Scott Severin and the Milton Burlesque. Tickets are still available for $12. Show starts at 9.
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