Review: Conor Oberst, 'Ruminations' - Rolling Stone
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Review: Conor Oberst’s ‘Ruminations’ Approaches Midlife With Intimacy

Our take on singer-songwriter’s latest

Review: Conor Oberst, 'Ruminations'

Conor Oberst's latest album is 'Ruminations.'

Conor Oberst's seventh LP is a refreshing renewal of the anxiety-ridden intimacy that marked his earliest work with Bright Eyes nearly 20 years ago – usually just Oberst accompanied by piano, a moody harmonica and some spare acoustic finger-picking. The stakes are getting high as he bites into midlife. "Counting Sheep" addresses a recent medical scare (the diagnosis of a cyst on his brain) and begs for a good night's rest: "Closing my eyes, counting the sheep/Gun in my mouth, trying to sleep/Everything ends, everything has to." The refusal of hope or respite in these songs often makes Ruminations feel like Oberst's Blood on the Tracks.

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