Upside Down Mountain

Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain
Critic Score
Based on 22 reviews
2014 Ratings: #397 / 845
User Score
Based on 47 ratings
2014 Ratings: #216
May 20, 2014 / Release Date
LP / Format
Nonesuch / Label
Suggest a Genre
Add
Abuse of this feature may prevent future contributions from your account.
Tags
Your Review
Sign In to rate and review

CRITIC REVIEWS

89
Paste

Music this well-sung and well-played will never go out of fashion or lose its appeal. Upside Down Mountain is a great achievement and Conor Oberst’s best work to date.

85
The Line of Best Fit

Oberst’s previous offerings sounded like the makings of an awkward adolescent who was handy with a guitar and a fourtrack recorder, Upside Down Mountain establishes the songwriter as a career-musician

80
Drowned in Sound

Oberst has his detractors - and admittedly, he’s hardly reinventing the wheel here - but at his best he’s capable of writing songs that do possess a kind of timeless quality, and ‘…Lake Unknown’ is in possession of it, no doubt. 

80
American Songwriter

It is also one of his most consistently rewarding efforts since the heady early records. Conor sounds more relaxed than ever before

80
AllMusic

Of all his albums, Upside-Down Mountain feels open-hearted, measured, and bright, the kind of record that opens up a new chapter in a career and possibly wins over new listeners.

80
NME

These 13 songs slow-dance between folk, country and, well, sounding like Bright Eyes, but there is a cohesion and sincerity here that has been missing.

75
Consequence of Sound

Upside Down Mountain shows that quality songcraft is still alive in Conor Oberst, and it is just a little bit of plastic surgery away from being relevant again. 

75
A.V. Club

If Oberst is, indeed, learning to pull back, it’s a work in progress. Most of these cryptic ramblers could lose a verse or two and still make pretty much the same amount of sense. 

75
The 405

Upside Down Mountain suggests that he's starting to move into a new period of his career where he can use his wisdom to write songs that are passionate in a new, more mature way, without having to try to dredge up an old fire that doesn't quite burn as violently anymore.

70
Spin

Frills and all (but especially the frills), Upside Down Mountain is a curious, if occasionally disturbing pleasure to listen to.

65
Pitchfork

On the plus side of the ledger, you can understand what the hell Oberst is talking about most of the time on Upside Down Mountain, which makes it an immediate improvement over Cassadaga and The People’s Key

60
Exclaim!

His songs no longer have the raw-nerve urgency they once did, which makes Upside Down Mountain a pleasantly peaceful listen, but lacking the power and urgency of his best work.

60
DIY

Although 'Upside Down Mountain' could do with a little more lyrical variety and structural experimentation, it is strong.

60
Under The Radar

Oberst's unmistakable voice, songwriting style, and melodic tendencies ground the album, but you have to wade through generic instrumentation and glossy production to find it. 

60
PopMatters

Upside Down Mountain doesn’t take too many chances and, while I’m usually all for evolution, this is a good thing for Conor Oberst.

43
Pretty Much Amazing

The very distance between the album’s mellow, casually lovely sonic maturity and Oberst’s thematic arrested development results in an eerie, unintended detachment.

73
Since “Upside Down Mountain” is longer than either of the two solo Conor Oberst albums that bookend it, and since it arrived at a time when Oberst was caught in the middle of a false allegation, this tends to be the most dismissed album in Oberst’s discography. And admittedly, it’s a somewhat sleepier album than the rest of his solo works. But “Upside Down Mountain” is still an album of consistently strong songwriting that most Oberst fans should enjoy. The ... read more
rosevean
72
#5 Lonely at the Top
#11 Governor's Ball
cwmDJ
76
alternative country album, excellent lyrics and singing, most of the songs are pretty good but nothing outstanding
snarekickblues
71
Best Track: Time Forgot, Hundreds Of Ways, Double Life, You Are Your Mother's Child, or Desert Island Questionnaire
Worst Track: Governor's Ball
Most Overrated Track: Zigzagging Toward The Light
Most Underrated Track: Lonely At The Top
tha138
67
Honest songwriting, haunted by the past and marked by a trembling voice, can be a welcome friend.
Purchasing Upside Down Mountain from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?

END OF YEAR LISTS

#15/American Songwriter
#19/Amazon

Track List

  1. Time Forgot
  2. Zigzagging Toward the Light
  3. Hundreds of Ways
  4. Artifact #1
  5. Lonely at the Top
  6. Enola Gay
  7. Double Life 
  8. Kick
  9. Night at Lake Unknown
  10. You Are Your Mother's Child
  11. Governor's Ball
  12. Desert Island Questionnaire
  13. Common Knowledge
Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.
In Library (4)
mayathepsychic
veery
vrathh
XayFlorence


Added on: February 11, 2014