Conor Oberst - Salutations album review: Ruminations on a reboot

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Genre: Rock
Label: Nonesuch

About six months ago, Conor Oberst released his seventh solo album. Ruminations is so titled because it was written following a period of exhaustion in the Omaha musician's life. It was recorded over two days with bare acoustic instrumentation – a reflection of the Nebraska winter as much as the song content.

Oberst now releases a "band" version that, in its own way, is as much new as complementary music. What matters most is that, even with weightier backing, the lyrics – a flurry of Bob Dylan primetime swagger meets a wave of Neil Young laidback indolence – remain prickly and potent.

Enhanced by a terrific bunch of contributors (including The Felice Brothers, drummer Jim Keltner, and vocalists M Ward, Gillian Welch and Jonathan Wilson), Salutations is that rare remake/remodel that works on every level.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture