FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2015|
Posted by: CJ Harvey
Desaparecidos front man, Conor Oberst, has always been comfortable weaving in and out of genres throughout his array of musical releases. Far more wired than any of his work in Bright Eyes or even his recent solo album Upside Down Mountain, Desaparecidos reveals a much more angsty side to Oberst's artistic vision. It's a little punk; it's a little rock, and it's a lot of energy.
Though lengthy, the 13 year build up to Payola was worth the wait. The line, "We're doomed," from first track "The Left is Right" sets the tone for the rest of the album. Oberst concentrates heavily on this theme of self realization and universal doubt throughout most of the rest of the songs from Payola. The financial districts of America are morphed into the world's evils in the eyes of this album, and the song's characters are underdogs forced to stick up for themselves against the weight of the heavy corporate influence in today's society.
On "The Underground Man," Oberst writes, "They pulled your teeth 'til you smiled and agreed/ They slit your throat and buried you at sea/ All for the land of the free." Relating politics to the art world keeps the record flowing effortlessly, with very few slow or uninteresting points. The lyrics also address several issues with the American government on a less personal level. The national scale of Oberst's ramblings are relevant and important, and Payola is the perfect outlet with which to share these thoughts.