Sound — 9
In the album Cassadaga, the wide variety of sounds and styles keeps the listener interested in, not only the music but the story behind it. For instance, the first track on the album, Claiaudients(Kill Or Be Killed) opens with a psychic talking about a journey that Conor must take, then fades into a simple melody that serves as a prelude for what's to come. The combination of violins, acoustic guitars, and background vocals, throughout the album, not to mention Conor's wobbly voice, gives Cassadaga a very unique and enjoyable sound. To me this album has better style and sound than the vast majority of those out there.
Lyrics — 10
Like I mentioned earlier, this album tells a story. It really isnt entirely obvious what it's about when you first hear it, but when you sit down and really listen to it, a deep and very complex tale that questions religion, truth, love and purpose throughout. Again, in the opening track the psychic tells Conor, "Cassadaga may be a premonition of a place you're going to visit", which serves, as I have previously stated, a prelude to the entire album. Conor's lyrical genious really shows in this album and his voice is showcased to an extent not matched by other albums like "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" or "Digital Ash In A Digital Urn."
Overall Impression — 10
In my personal opionion, this is undoubtedly the best indie album out there and it shows Oberst as being deserving of the title of the next Bob Dylan. The high quality of this album really makes it hard to pick a best song, but to me, Middleman, with it's violin solos and deep lyrics, sticks out the most. I honestly love everything about it, from the opening story to the ending notes there is nothing about Cassadaga that is displeasing. If someone stole this I really wouldn't blame them, but I would have to kill them for it. Not really, but I would run out and get a new copy first thing.