Album Review: “Ruminations” by Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst's new album, Ruminations, comes out Oct. 14.

The lyrics are, as usual, what make the album worthy of a positive review.


By Bridgette Bayley


In my robe, with my cigarettes and my cat, I bundled myself up to listen to “Ruminations” the whole way through.


An Oberst fan since grade school, he can basically breath and I’ll swoon. So, it’s not an exaggeration to say I was in love with almost all ten tracks.


Maybe it’s just a biased opinion or maybe the anticipation of the two year gap between “Upside Down Mountain” and “Ruminations” made the sound of his voice so pleasing.


For a man who can’t sing, he sure does sound great.


The funny thing about idolizing celebrities is that we notice parallels in their lives to our own. We try to make comparisons to feel closer to them.


The first song, “Tachycardia”, Oberst is making it too easy for me to make these connections that I always do when listening to his music.


His struggle with the court system and balancing his interpersonal relationships humanize him in a way where he really could just be singing about my life.


He not only could be /like/ me; he could /be/ me.


Substance abuse and death are the major themes of the album, not too much unlike his other works and the mood stays mellow throughout. The lyrics are, as usual, what make the album worthy of a positive review.


His instrumentals are average at best and very par for the course of his work. In fact, it felt as if I were really listening to his “Coyote Song” about ten times in a row, simply with new verses. Luckily, his words are why I keep coming back.


The highlight of the album was “Next of Kin”, it hit all of the feels, hard.


If you’re interested in connecting with your sad side and addiction references won’t cause you to relapse or go over your head, this is something you will appreciate.


Be calm and patient with this one, it requires your undivided attention.


I recommend this to be enjoyed with coffee. Listen to it on NPR by clicking here.


Bridgette Bayley is an East Orlando resident and grew up in the Central Florida area.