“There’s battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. Young people speaking their minds. Getting so much resistance from behind. It’s time we stop hey, what’s that sound everybody look what’s going down?” – Buffalo Springfield.
One young man resisting and challenging life and speaking his mind is Conor Oberst. Oberst’ latest release is a battle within him and the senseless world he composes about, and strains to understand. “Salutations,” accompanies the singers 2016 deep and considerable thoughts release, “Ruminations.”
Conor Oberst’s 67-minute poetic masterpiece “Salutations” makes the argument Oberst will never go “gently into the night. Oberst also well known for his work in; Desaparecidos, The Mystic Valley Band, Bright Eyes, and of course Monsters of Folk, is a passionate voice regarding reflections his generation.
Accompanied with Conor Oberst on the new album are the backing band The Felice Brothers and iconic drummer and current co-producer, Jim Keltner (Neil Young, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Jackson Brown).
“Salutations” is a combination of seven new songs and ten previous songs from “Ruminations,” whereas, in the newest release, all 17 songs are produced and recorded with his bandmates. “Salutations” is an exposition on life, love and how cruel and painful it is to live and die in the world today. Even though the two albums are brethren they are uniquely different just like two children are distinctive to a mother or father.
“Mamah Borthwick,” and “Till Saint Dympham Kicks Us Out” are not new songs, however, the accompaniment of the musical guests effectively add interest to the melancholy sadness and loneliness “Ruminations” suggested in the past. Both subjects of Oberst’s poems ‘Borthwick’ and ‘Saint Dympham,’ were murdered by sharp metal objects. Borthwick was murdered by an axe-wielding madman for reasons unknown, Dympham, a 7th Century maiden, was murdered by her father for refusing his hand in marriage.
Drunk with this kind of sorrow amid a poetic outrage, Oberst’s “Afterthought” describes how hard it is to be in love, “But it isn’t as though we get what we want. No matter how hard or long we have fought. Oh my happiness is a mere afterthought. When I’m with her I keep it in mind. Then when she leaves and I’ve run out of time.” “Napalm,” and “Empty Hotel By The Sea,” are both classic Oberst protest songs about power, corruption and the ills of this excess world.
Those who have and those who have not heard “Ruminations,” will no doubt enjoy the thoughts and the resistance the new release, “Salutations” invoke.
Contributors to “Salutations” were courtesy of, Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M Ward, Gillian Welch, Gus Seyffert, Pearl Charles, Nathaniel Walcott, and Jonathan Wilson.
“Salutations” is available now via Nonesuch Records.