Music

ALBUM REVIEW | INDIE

Conor Oberst, ‘Upside Down Mountain’

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Releasing music as Bright Eyes, Desaparecidos, Mystic Valley Band, Monsters of Folk, and under his own name, Conor Oberst has long exhibited an affinity for reinvention. One thing remains consistent, however, and it’s abundant on his latest: a raw laying bare of emotion delivered with a poet’s ear for lyrical specificity. “Home is a perjury, a parlor trick, an urban myth,” he sings on “Zigzagging Toward the Light,” a song whose bounce belies its sense of displacement. That sort of muso-lyrical counterbalance is abundant here. “Desert Island Questionnaire” is a gradually cresting number that resounds with congregational spirituality. “I’m so bored with my life, but I’m still afraid to die,” he sings. Few artists can make lyrics like that sound like a joyful exultation. The church bells help sell the concept of a funeral mass for the spirit, but like many funerals, it’s one where the cherished memories mingle together with the loss. (Out Tuesday)LUKE O’NEIL


ESSENTIAL “Desert Island Questionnaire”

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