AOTY 2020

Better Oblivion Community Center

Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center
Critic Score
Based on 25 reviews
2019 Ratings: #138 / 758
User Score
Based on 632 ratings
2019 Ratings: #249
Liked by 12 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
God Is in the TV

Every time I listen to this record I want to immediately start listening to it again and that is the reason, because Better Oblivion Community Center is better than most other records.

90
Spill Magazine

A balanced collection of honest and authentic folk-infused songs, this is an album that leaves the listener hoping that these two restless spirits find their way back to the Better Oblivion Community Center soon.

90
The Young Folks
Here, we do get a combination that works and stands on its own as something apart from the two artists. Bridgers and Oberst are not just here to gather together some songs they wrote adjacent to each other. The Better Oblivion Community Center, as a group and an album, exemplifies the best results of collaboration, to the benefit of all of us.
88
Sputnikmusic

Better Oblivion Community Center is a collaboration that feels too good to be true, but here we are. It’s full of charming melodies, carefully placed harmonies, and biting lyrics from two of the most influential songwriters around.

85
Under The Radar

This is a cohesive, creative, and multi-faceted record that will over-joy fans of both artists while offering the spark of magic that so rarely comes with these kinds of collaborations.

85
Paste

Better Oblivion Community Center is the kind of warm and fuzzy record that provides listeners with a soul-lifting ending no matter which path they choose—to collapse into the arms of its devastating lyrical woe or to jump onstage with Oberst and Bridgers and bask in its giddy musical benevolence.

80
The Skinny

Better Oblivion Community Center isn’t an obvious step forward for either artist but it’s a generous and grounded collection of songs, showcasing the complementary talents of two of America’s most talented songwriters.

80
Clash

If you like your music heavy with feels, story and a tangible sense of nostalgia, this is for you. Oberst and Bridgers have created one of those rare collaborative albums that rank with the best efforts of the respective artists.

80
DIY

A ten-track album that combines both of their styles to create something that doesn’t sound quite like either of them.

80
The Line of Best Fit

It’s the honest, insightful manner with which both Oberst and Bridgers have approached Better Oblivion Community Center that makes it such a delight.

80
Rolling Stone

Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst debut their new duo with a raw, redemptive album.

80
Exclaim!

The best parts of the album, though, are the moments where it doesn't sound exactly like anything either artist has released before, yet still shows two songwriters at the height of their talents.

80
NME

On their surprise collaboration, indie-folk heroes Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers find hope amid chaos; the record succeeds on its own merits, regardless of its authors’ impressive statuses.

80
FLOOD Magazine

Overall, Better Oblivion Community Center doesn’t necessarily explore any new territory, but it does unite two people who feel the same way, and are able to explain this feeling in undeniable harmony. It’s haunting, it’s sad, it’s human.

80
The Independent

The self-titled record, a loose but beautifully crafted collection of folk-rock songs, explores the kinds of anxieties intrinsic to the modern age.

80
NOW Magazine

Their debut 10-track album effortlessly showcases both Oberst’s and Bridgers’s strengths as songwriters who are unafraid of literate vulnerability as they explore subjects like loneliness, privilege and estranged family.

80
musicOMH

This is a ‘supergroup’ refreshingly free of ego and filled with supremely listenable songs.

77
Pitchfork

It’s a tight-knit folk-rock album about alienation, solitude, and our potential to better ourselves against bad odds.

75
Consequence of Sound

More a revitalizing burst of energy than a passing of the torch, Better Oblivion Community Center frequently finds Bridgers and Oberst bringing out the best of each other.

75
The 405

Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers have a natural chemistry, and frequently bring out the best in each other. Sonically, Better Oblivion Community Center doesn’t stray too far from the comfort zones of either, being mostly slow-rocking folk numbers, but intertwining their different narratives works incredibly well.

70
Loud and Quiet

It’s a surreal consultation with culture’s history books, a sarcastic narration of LA-dreaming and the troubled artist.

70
Slant Magazine

Their surprise joint release, Better Oblivion Community Center, proves that both musicians are capable of capitalizing on their best tendencies while largely avoiding their worst.

70
AllMusic

While both performers are too iconic for Better Oblivion Community Center to truly feel separate from their respective bodies of work, there's still a strange magic that comes from the combination.

60
The Guardian

It can be one-note, but ultimately this collaboration between two artists known for their emotionally lacerating lyrics is all about the writing.

RakkSmells
76
To be honest, while listening to some of these songs I just had the biggest smile on my face. I was just thinking, "Ahh, this is nice." And that's no lie either, this album's a really charming and sweet folk rock album that's just really pleasant to listen to. I do think Phoebe's voice outshines Conor Oberst on this album but they mix quite well. My only issues are some of the rockier elements don't clash well with the sweet folk sound sometimes, and there are a few meh tracks, but ... read more
WhatTheFunk
47
Decidedly, Phoebe Bridgers is on fire right now. After a first solo album in 2017 named "Stranger In The Alps", the Californian re-offended with supertrio boygenius the following year with a first EP, now she presents her new side-project with Conor Oberst named "Better Oblivion Community Center ". Yes, it's really the duet that nobody expected a week ago. "Better Oblivion Community Center" is obviously not attached to a single style. With the musical past of Conor ... read more
musicmagpie55
75
Better Oblivion Community Center create a sweet little album that has some immediate melodies and fun production while maintaining the somber subject matter both artists clearly love. Oberst and Bridgers have complimentary styles, each creating intimate indie rock that strokes the soul. The best parts of the album are when these styles blend and create something exciting and new. Oberst benefits from Bridgers accessible and pop-tinged melodies; 'Sleepwalkin'' is a radio-friendly, road-trip ... read more
papadave
74
I'm a slut for Phoebe Bridgers' voice, and she provides a great sample of her usually sentimental sound here. Also Conor Oberst is here. The two have a great chemistry as artists but I feel as if Bridgers often outshines Oberst.
zachthesnack
71
Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers release what is undoubtedly the most high profile collab of the year so far.

This is a record ive seen a hundred times. Simple, lovable, well-written and sincere folk music with slight experimentation. Its nothing crazy, but it's a sound as timeless as music itself and you just cant help but smile sometimes when you hear it. :)

Ps. Phoebe has been killing,it lately between this, her last record and,her work with Boygenius, she has been putting out so much ... read more
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Track List

  1. Didn't Know What I Was in For
  2. Sleepwalkin'
  3. Dylan Thomas
  4. Service Road
  5. Exception to the Rule
  6. Chesapeake
  7. My City
  8. Forest Lawn
  9. Big Black Heart
  10. Dominos
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Added on: January 24, 2019