“Just when it became socially acceptable to like” singer-songwriter Bright Eyes a.k.a. Conor Oberst, said Judy Berman in Salon, “I find myself falling out of love with him.” Now that I’m older, I can see through his “futile attempt to evoke Dylan,” and shake his image as a self-pitying teenager by dispensing ''cowboy clichés.”
Give the guy a break, said Carl Wilson in Paste. For half his life, the 28-year-old Oberst has been "schlepping around a prodigy’s burden.” Ever since he gained “notoriety” as a songwriter while only in the 10th-grade, he’s “served as a skinny, bobbed and bobbing target for those aiming at superiority in the rock-taste status sweepstakes.” And to Oberst’s “credit, he seldom bitches about the backlash.”
That’s because he’s too busy writing great songs, said Eric R. Danton in The Hartford Courant. On his new self-titled album, Conor Oberst, “he sounds as if he has shrugged off any pressure to make a Grand Artistic Statement, resulting in songs that play to his considerable strengths as a writer.” This record is “the sound of an earnest singer and songwriter fully coming into his own.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
Subscribe to the Week