Conor Oberst: Salutations review – sprawling companion to Ruminations


Last October’s Ruminations comprised intimate solo versions of 10 songs Conor Oberst had initially planned to record with a full band. Five months on, and those fleshed-out versions – recorded with the Felice Brothers and drummer Jim Keitner, and boosted by a further seven tracks – now follow. In some instances, the fuller arrangements have a transformative effect: in particular, Counting Sheep’s newfound warmth offsets much of its lyrical bleakness. Elsewhere, the rebooted Tachycardia and A Little Uncanny lose none of the originals’ power. Of the new songs, meanwhile, the propulsive riff of Napalm makes like Highway 61 Revisited, while the outwardly chirpy Anytime Soon is laced with regret. Overall, Salutations might be slightly sprawling and lack a little of the focus of Ruminations, but it makes for a highly enjoyable companion piece.

Watch the video for Till St Dymphna Kicks Us Out, from Salutations by Conor Oberst.


Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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