Conor Oberst - 'Ruminations'

7/10

The career of Conor Oberst has been a diverse one to say the least. With more side-projects than we can keep track of, Oberst likes to explore a multitude of influences through his writing, which usually comes together as a bold and diverse collection every time he puts out a new solo record. But this time we see that much of his usual fanfare production has been stripped back and given a more focused direction for his latest release 'Ruminations'.

On his 2014 album 'Upside Down Mountain', we saw the frontman embark on a joyous and uplifting journey through a soulful inspiration, but this time he seems to be channeling the spirit of the late 60s folk music scene. With little more than a guitar, piano, and harmonica, Conor aims to create a more personal collection of songs that talk of the modern world as he sees it. Songs of struggle, weariness, and the search for happiness fill this album with a real sense of despair, yet manage to leave you feeling optimistic throughout.

In all, this feels a lot like an ode to the unspoken hardships of everyday people. Yet the album still articulates a strong message, which is that no matter how hard things become there is still plenty to enjoy in life, even if it doesn't always feel like that.

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