I’ve been a huge fan of Conor Oberst since his Bright Eye’s “Lifted” release came out in 2002. I’m the right age and came from a similar musical and social background. Something about his tone and subject matter keep me engaged. While his first few solo releases were fun, the lyrical and musical content seemed a bit directionless. “Upside Down Mountain” comes across focused and believable, like it should be an album. His signature acoustic strumming and desperate storytelling tone return, recalling stories a bit more mature: finding friendship after fame, losing old friends to drugs, staying true to his art. Sonically, “Upside Down Mountain” bridges the folk-rock spectrum without sounding too tired. Oberst incorporates great use of unique rhythmic sounds along with horns and lead guitar that keep the record fresh. TIYL: M. Ward, Jim James solo, 70’s Dylan.