Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center
Jan 24, 2019
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 ready gem. Bridgers, on the other hand, rocks a little harder, her instrumentation refreshingly loud and rough around the edges. The last two minutes of 'Big Black Heart' hit hard, and it is fun to hear Phoebe go for it.

I would say my primary critique of this album is that I would have loved some more harmonies. Phoebe has proven herself to excel at tight harmonies. My favorite part of boygenius were those amazing moments when the three of them would blend perfectly. There are moments when Oberst and Bridgers do harmonize, but for the most part, they share a melodic line. This is fine and dandy, but I find the moments of harmony stand out as Bridgers and Oberst sound fantastic together.

Overall I like this album. I am mostly amazed by Phoebe Bridgers' output over the last two years. While I do not find this album groundbreaking, I do think it is another example of how collaboration can be successful, especially when the two artists push each other into new sounds. Hopefully, both artists will take a note from the other when creating their next album.
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