Conor Oberst
Outer South


2.0
poor

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
May 5th, 2009 | 132 replies | 17,878 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wish it were still 2003 so Conor Oberst didn't suck.

In the eyes of his die-hard fans, Conor Oberst can do no wrong, and this annoys the crap out of me. Seriously, amongst the wealth of material that he's released as Bright Eyes, only four albums are any good, and of his other projects, only his 2008 self-titled album stands out. Simply put, he's good, but he isn't the god that some would proclaim him to be. He's had his fair share of lyrical triumphs, but the angst can be overwhelming, the poetry contrived, and his delivery of those lines annoying. I remember one time I showed somebody something I'd written, and they said it sounded like something Conor Oberst would write. I took that as an insult. So I've got this weird love/hate relationship with Conor Oberst, because I really do like Bright Eyes, but I'm sort of embarrassed about it because everyone else I know who likes Bright Eyes really likes Bright Eyes. And I always say, "No, he only has five good albums," but people always see that as blasphemy. I don't know what it is about the guy. He's not even hot.

And now, Outer South is here to exacerbate things even more. Someone was talking about it the other day, you know, "Have you heard the new Conor Oberst album???" But it's not even a Conor Oberst album. He only wrote nine of the sixteen tracks, and he doesn't sing at all on seven of them. But since his name is attached to it, it's a Conor Oberst album. Oh yeah also, no one seems to notice that the album sucks. It's just more of the same country drivel that he's been hinting at for, like, a decade now, only on this album it's fully realized with an ensemble band or whatever. Now, I'm not one of those people who hates country or anything, but if I'm going to listen to a country album, I would prefer that it not be longer than forty minutes. This album is seventy minutes long, which is its first pitfall. The Bright Eyes album Lifted... is a few minutes longer, but that album is actually interesting. Outer South is like hearing "Train Under Water," the worst Bright Eyes song, on repeat for over an hour. Only sometimes, "Train Under Water" has some kickin' organ licks, or Oberst is replaced by someone with an even less interesting voice. "Big Black Nothing" would be cool if it didn't sound exactly like the two songs that come before it, with a different singer (who sounds like Oberst, only deeper), and "Air Mattress" and "Snake Hill" are sung by perhaps the worst vocalist ever.

Things wouldn't be quite so bad if Oberst's vocals were something to write home about, but they aren't. Obviously, his voice has never been technically great, and a lot of people have found him annoying from the start. But there was always that damn honesty and conviction to his voice that was undeniable. On Outer South (and even on his self-titled album to a certain degree), he just sounds bored. His barely-there-sometimes and really-apparent-at-other-times country accent feels forced, and sometimes, like on "Cabbage Town," his delivery is laughable. His lyrics aren't too great either. While sometimes his Bright Eyes lyrics would fail, they were at least always relative to peoples' lives. Now when he sings stuff like "Come on down to Cabbage Town," I just can't help but laugh and shake my head. The appeal just isn't there anymore.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on Outer South. Maybe all of my grievances with Oberst have been close to the boiling point for a while and this is just the tipping point. Nevertheless, there aren't too many redeeming points about the album. There are no differentiating factors among the songs. If you're really interested, I guess you could listen to "Ten Women," because it's the only song that comes close to being decent, but other than that, Outer South is too long, too uninteresting, and too uninspired to be anything better than not good at all.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

technically this should be under conor oberst and the mystic valley band

but i don't give a fuck

Transient
May 5th 2009



1461 Comments


conor oberst and the 100 percent natural mystic valley good time family band solution

gaslightanthem
May 5th 2009



5209 Comments


this is disappointing but i don't doubt you & now i can't rly even be bothered to listen to this if it is gonna be 70 minutes of crap

kitsch
May 5th 2009



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

In the eyes of his die-hard fans, Conor Oberst can do no wrong, and this annoys the crap out of me. Seriously, amongst the wealth of material that he's released as Bright Eyes, only four albums are any good, and of his other projects, only his 2008 self-titled album stands out. Simply put, he's good, but he isn't the god that some would proclaim him to be. He's had his fair share of lyrical triumphs, but the angst can be overwhelming, the poetry contrived, and his delivery of those lines annoying. I remember one time I showed somebody something I'd written, and they said it sounded like something Conor Oberst would write. I took that as an insult. So I've got this weird love/hate relationship with Conor Oberst, because I really do like Bright Eyes, but I'm sort of embarrassed about it because everyone else I know who likes Bright Eyes really likes Bright Eyes. And I always say, "No, he only has five good albums," but people always see that as blasphemy. I don't know what it is about the guy. He's not even hot.


exactly how i feel about bright eyes except i like even fewer than five albums.

DoctorNurse
May 5th 2009



475 Comments


Sounds like 70 minutes of bent

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

seriously he is not hot at all

foreverendeared
May 5th 2009



14678 Comments


he's not even hot

gaslightanthem
May 5th 2009



5209 Comments


wouldn't want to fuck him no

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



20856 Comments


Great review Free Man. It felt like you were chatting to me in a bar... No, not a gay bar you sick freak.

Spare
May 5th 2009



5270 Comments


this makes me an unhappy chappy, i really wanted it to be good

foreverendeared
May 5th 2009



14678 Comments


I'd probably still fuck him though. i'm not that shallow

gaslightanthem
May 5th 2009



5209 Comments


Great review Free Man. It felt like you were chatting to me in a bar... No, not a gay bar you sick freak.


Davey are you high/drunk?


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



20856 Comments


Almost. Had a few drinks while going out to see 'Wolverine'. Gotta love those Aussie wolf men. Not in a gay way of course.

Douglas
May 5th 2009



9088 Comments


This explains my abuse.

Digging: James Vincent McMorrow - Post Tropical

DoctorNurse
May 5th 2009



475 Comments


Wolverine worth seeing?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



20856 Comments


Yep Dougie, it was Hugh Jackman. He was the one who abused you mate.

Umm, it's pretty good, but not earth-shattering. There are some clever little bits regarding his history leading up to the X Men films, and Liev Schreiber is very good as his brother, but it's not the best movie you will see all year, that's for certain.

Knott-
Emeritus
May 5th 2009



10195 Comments


ye i streamed this and it was megaaaaaa disappointing. review rules.

kitsch
May 5th 2009



5107 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i saw it and thought it was stupid but then again i think superhero movies all suck. the biggest thing about it was that every mutant, even people like gambit could jump like 20 feet in the air.

when i saw it, this really nerdy guy in the front started shouting to his friends as soon as it ended: "it is a well known fact the silver samurai should have been here! continuity! continuity! wheres the continuity?"

i was laughing my ass off.

anyway, no i wouldnt fuck oberst. i like my men manly.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



20856 Comments


If that story is true kitsch, that is hilarious. I wuld have thrown something at him.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
May 5th 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

conor is pale and sickly and whiny

i like my men to be 100% woman



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