Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst channels the lo-fi rock of the Replacements and the accessible Americana hooks of the Jayhawks on this Mystic Valley debut.
The CD swells with ambivalence about love and dreams. On "Nikorette," Oberst hesitates to join the dream chasers he sees around him: "My neighbor dreams big because his house is small," he sings. Later he admits, "I don't want to dream if they don't come true."
Oberst's fearful embrace of life's illusive beauty ultimately turns nostalgic on "Slowly (Oh So Slowly)": "My mind keeps slipping back into the past / I hope someday that I can get it back."
Outer South is the perfect companion for a day of wistful solitude.