Better Oblivion Community Center – “Better Oblivion Community Center” Review

Michael Rogers

Two of folk rocks biggest acts came together for an album as the band Better Oblivion Community Center. Those two are Connor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers, legends in their own right with plenty of fantastic albums between them. The self-titled album is a collaboration worthy of their talents as its ten songs of pure folk bliss. The album consists of both catchy, radio friendly jams, as well as very slow, acoustic driven ballads full of deeply personal lyrics. The album starts off slowly with “Didn’t Know What I Was Lookin’ For” and “Sleepwalkin’” which set the tone for the album well. It really starts to shine with the next two tracks: “Dylan Thomas” and “Service Road” both of which are fantastic tracks lyrically. The former evokes that of its namesake, the poet Dylan Thomas, with its lyrical quality. This quality of lyrics is something that continues throughout the album, and serves as a great example of the duos natural ability to tell a story through a song. “Service Road” is my favorite track, as it just begs to be played while staring out a window on a rainy day while recalling the past in melancholia. “Exception to the Rule” switches the style up with a heavy synth bass line, which adds some flavor to the album. “Chesapeake” and “My City” don’t do much to distinguish themselves from the rest of the album, unfortunately, but they are still solid tracks. The album finishes off slowly with the last two tracks before going out with a bang with the final song. Ultimately, Better Oblivion Community Center could hardly be considered an experiment, as its success was practically guaranteed with such reliable talent behind it. Even with such high expectations, it manages to deliver a perfectly morose folk rock experience unlike any other.

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