Conor Oberst's new album, Salutations, is out now. The album, a companion to 2016's lauded Ruminations, comprises full-band versions of the ten tunes from that solo album plus seven additional songs. Salutations was recorded with The Felice Brothers, legendary drummer Jim Keltner, who co-produced the album, and special guests. "The results are quite simply sublime," says Sunday Express. "This is songwriting of the very highest quality, Oberst’s lyrics rarely less than astonishing. Wonderful." It "works exceedingly well," raves Q. "Both retaining the spirit of the original yet also transcending it, this was a risk worth taking." "Salutations is an absolute treat," exclaims Drowned in Sound. The Independent says it's "probably the best work of the singer’s career."
Conor Oberst, who is currently touring the United States, releases his new album, Salutations, on Nonesuch Records today. The album is a companion piece to 2016's lauded Ruminations and comprises full-band versions of the ten songs from that solo album plus seven additional songs. Salutations was recorded at the famed Shangri-la Studios in Malibu and Five Star Studios in Echo Park with The Felice Brothers and the legendary drummer Jim Keltner, who co-produced the album. Guest performers include Jim James, Blake Mills, Maria Taylor, M. Ward, Gillian Welch, and Jonathan Wilson.
To pick up a copy of Salutations, head to iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include a download of the complete album at checkout. You can also listen to the album on Spotify and Apple Music.
Reflecting on the two recordings of the songs on Ruminations and Salutations, NPR says "it turns out both approaches serve these songs well. This remains some of Oberst's most personal and reflective material, written in a harsh winter after a health scare, so it was worth letting the songs breathe for a few months before revisiting them. They still sound full of life, and still feel ragged at times, but they shine in new and different ways."
Salutations is Album of the Week in three UK newspapers: Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, and Sunday Express, which gives it five stars and says: "Salutations is undoubtedly Oberst’s most satisfying record to date. The results are quite simply sublime. This is songwriting of the very highest quality, Oberst’s lyrics rarely less than astonishing. Wonderful." The Independent's i gives the album a perfect five stars, calling it "probably the best work of the singer’s career."
"Six months on from the sparse Ruminations comes the album it was originally intended to be," says Uncut magazine: "a fully fleshed-out mirror image on which Oberst revisits its tracks with a stellar cast of collaborators. The expanded palette, majoring on warmth, Dylanesque waltzes and rolling country-rock, brings out the colour of the songs."
Q magazine gives the album four stars. The new album "works exceedingly well," raves Q reviewer George Garner. "Both retaining the spirit of the original yet also transcending it, this was a risk worth taking."
Drowned in Sound gives the album a nine out of ten. "Salutations is an absolute treat," exclaims reviewer James Skinner. "[I]t succeeds both as [Rumination]’s sunnier, more outward-looking counterpart as much as it does on its own terms: as a collection of vibrant, fantastic songs." The new album "counts some of Oberst’s finest songs in recent memory among its number," he continues, later concluding: "It’s the sound of a gifted songwriter comfortable with his craft and in his own skin, offering glinting new facets to earlier sounds and the songs present on Ruminations, and it makes for a subtle, yet striking departure from everything that came before." Read the complete review at drownedinsound.com.
Australia's The Music has named Salutations its Album of the Week, giving it four-and-a-half stars. "Salutations, an album that successfully marries Americana with pop, has developed into the album that Oberst always intended it to be," writes reviewer Jessica Milsome. "There's a fair amount of courage in recreating an album that people know and love, but the results prove that sometimes things are better the second time around."