Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Conor Oberst: Upside Down Mountain

Magazine article Acoustic Guitar

Conor Oberst: Upside Down Mountain

Article excerpt

Conor Oberst

Upside Down Mountain

Nonesuch

The prolific songwriter reframes his jittery desperation

"Life's a rollercoaster-keep your arms inside," Conor Oberst sings in "You Are Your Mother's Child," on Upside Down Mountain, his first collection of new music in three years, and you'd better heed his warning. Built on a framework of compelling folk storytelling, the album's very name conjures cognitive dissonance. Over gently rolling, fingerpicked acoustic guitar, "You Are Your Mother's Child" unfurls seemingly innocuous family moments-little-league games, trick-or-treating, grad-uation-but being Oberst, he gives them a dark twist, referring to a parent's love as "protective poison," thereby deliberately undercutting the burnished Hallmark glow.

In these 11 songs, Oberst seeks solace amid life's emotional storms, but he's not balancing some new "mature" vision against his earlier, jittery emo outlook. …

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