Upside Down Mountain: An Album Review

Posted by on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I haven't blogged in forever and a lot of it has to do with reviewing this album. I keep starting to write about it, but always end up deleting what I wrote or not posting it. It's overwhelming reviewing the album of your favorite musician. But here goes nothing. . .

Upside Down Mountain is a great album. I love it. I've listened to it on repeat for almost a month now and haven't grown tired of it. It's an upward progression in a catalog of great albums. I don't drink wine, but if I did I would probably say something yuppie like, "Conor Oberst is like a fine wine. He gets better with every year that passes." But I don't drink wine and I would never say that.

I've touched on this before, but I feel like all my favorite artists are dealing with the same issues that preoccupy my mind. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they've always been writing about the same old things and getting older has made me more in tune with the lyrics. I know what your thinking, "Zach you're so mature". But I'd like to think we have the same fears and anxieties. The standout song on the album, "Desert Island Questionnaire", is lyrically and musically one of Obert's best songs. It's about being fearful of complacency, religion, death, technology, boredom, loneliness and anything else that makes you anxious. It's both dark and beautiful at the same time. It's definitely my favorite song of 2014 so far.

"Your Mother's Child" is being compared to "First Day of My Life" frequently in blogs and reviews that I've read and I can see why, but I don't think the song is as sentimental as everyone thinks it is. It's more about how the father in the song has failed at being a father, and all the good things in their child's life come from the mother. That's not to say there aren't sentimental moments. The song goes through the life of the child from birth to high school graduation. This song could have been cheesy, but it's the complete opposite of cheesy. It's cute, but in a good way.

Other standout tracks are . . . all of them, I guess. The whole album is (in my opinion) wonderful, but I wouldn't expect anything less.

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