Monday, May 25, 2009

Mr. G's Song of the Week - "Ten Women"

There is no shortage of Bob Dylan comparisons when one speaks of renowned indie singer/songwriter, Conor Oberst. Whether performing alone, with his band Bright Eyes, or with his current outfit, The Mystic Valley Band, the unique poignancy and poetic quality of his lyrics has often reminded listeners and critics alike of the one and only "Zimmy". Quite honestly, though, the likeness between these two guitar-wielding wordsmiths has always been lost on me... until now.

While listening to "Ten Women" for the first time I was immediately struck with a strong waft of Dylanism. Beyond the acoustic guitar and simple song structure, there are points where, without prior knowledge, one might swear up and down that Dylan was in fact singing. Such moments will become obvious to anyone with some auditory recall of Dylan's unique vocal style. From a lyrical standpoint, the song alludes to a lost love that was never meant to be, but one that "ten women" cannot replace. In Dylanesque fashion, the meaning of the song is never directly addressed but is instead danced around poetically.

But to devote this entire post to a Dylan comparison would not do justice to the singular talent of Conor Oberst. Although "Outer South" (the album to which "Ten Women" belongs) is not his best, due largely to the fact that he graciously shares song-writing duties with his bandmates, this song and a handful of others showcase the impressive talent of one of today's most talented young musicians. "Ten Women" is a gem amongst a collection of many that Oberst has written throughout his sparkling career thus far, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

[mp3] Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Ten Women

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