Review: Better Oblivion Community Center by Better Oblivion Community Center

Better Oblivion Community Center by Better Oblivion Community CenterIt’s not an unlikely collaboration: apart from Conor Oberst popping up in a lot of places lately, and Phoebe Bridgers being hot property in the past year, the two actually worked together in one song on her acclaimed debut Stranger in the Alps. Now, under the name Better Oblivion Community Center, the two come together for a record that comes together comfortably and effortlessly, both in sound and in theme. The concept – the aforementioned community center – doesn’t weigh in heavily, at least not as much as why someone would go there, and what one would do once inside: get lost in his thoughts and try, really try, to find common ground with anyone else. The songs on the record can be uppity – again, unsurprising – but there’s an undercurrent of fatalism running through, of being ultimately alone despite all this, and the seemingly futile effort to find someone to share the burden with. And yet it is an uppity record: tight, flows nicely. Is this the ideal scenario? Is Conor and Phoebe coming together the somewhat utopian end result? I don’t know. I’m wallowing, and this feels really nice. [NB]4/5