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December 2018 / January 2019
Review

Conor Oberst – Salutations

'Salutations' is the comeback album fans have been waiting for.
Published: 8:05 am, March 17, 2017
'Salutations' is the comeback album fans have been waiting for.

Label: Nonesuch
Released: 17th March 2017
Rating: ★★★

Conor Oberst hasn’t had the best of times in recent years, but out of the darkness of ill health comes 'Salutations': an apt name as he seems somewhat ready to greet the world again. It’s a partner album to 'Ruminations' – a record so raw it worried collaborator Mike Mogis - which came out late last year and was just vocals, harmonica and piano.

The loneliness of 'Ruminations' is gone as the erstwhile Bright Eyes man reunites with friends to give the ten songs from the companion album a new lease of life making them bigger, bolder and more defiant. Another seven songs have been added, making this a lengthy album.
It’s easy to assume the album's of a personal nature, but that doesn’t do justice to the songs which tackle subjects such as booze, homecoming and faith. 'You Loved Him Once' examines the fickle nature of fame, while in the very next breathe he’s looking for a friend to go drinking with. Oberst is at his wry, self-deprecating best most notably on 'Next of Kin': “Something dies when a star is born/I spread my anger like Agent Orange/I was indiscriminate,” he sings.

'Salutations' is the comeback album fans have been waiting for, and there is more than enough to delight new fans too. Eala MacAlister

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