Ruminations (album)
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Ruminations Album
Ruminations (Front Cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 14, 2016 (2016-10-14)
RecordedFebruary 11-12, 2016
StudioARC Studios, Omaha, Nebraska
ProducerConor Oberst
Conor Oberst chronology
Upside Down Mountain
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Consequence of SoundB-[2]
Drowned In Sound9/10[4]
NME4/5 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media7.5/10[7]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[8]
Slant Magazine4/5 stars[9]

Ruminations is the seventh solo studio album by American musician Conor Oberst, released on October 14, 2016 on Nonesuch Records.[10][11][12]


On October 28, 2015, in the midst of Desaparecidos' tour for their second studio album Payola, it was announced that Conor Oberst had been hospitalized due to "laryngitis, anxiety, and exhaustion," according to a press release. The entirety of Desaparecidos' remaining tour dates were cancelled and Oberst returned to his hometown of Omaha to recuperate.[13] Oberst would spend the coming months in Omaha, where he would go on to write and record the songs that make up Ruminations.


The songs were recorded in the winter of 2015 at ARC Studios in Oberst's native Omaha, Nebraska, with all the songs recorded in the span of 48 hours. They feature Oberst playing by himself. In a press release, Oberst described Ruminations' inception:[14]

Described as an acoustic album, the songs on the album solely feature Oberst with a guitar, piano, and a harmonica.[15] All ten songs were re-recorded with fuller arrangements on Oberst's following album Salutations.


The cover art features an image of Oberst playing the piano and the harmonica with a microphone and sheet music on display, marking the album's low-production and minimal instrumentation.


Publication Accolade Year Rank
American Songwriter Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016

Track listing

All tracks written by Conor Oberst.

2."Barbary Coast (Later)"4:12
3."Gossamer Thin"3:35
4."Counting Sheep"3:27
5."Mamah Borthwick (A Sketch)"3:57
6."The Rain Follows the Plow"3:29
7."A Little Uncanny"4:13
8."Next of Kin"3:26
9."You All Loved Him Once"3:49
10."Till St. Dymphna Kicks Us Out"4:10
Total length:37:56


Chart (2016) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[17] 54
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[18] 103
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 82
Irish Albums (IRMA)[20] 31
Scottish Albums (OCC)[21] 55
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[22] 77
US Billboard 200[23] 72


  1. ^ AllMusic Review
  2. ^ Consequence of Sound Review
  3. ^ Metacritic Score
  4. ^ Drowned In Sound Review
  5. ^ NME Review
  6. ^ Paste Review
  7. ^ Pitchfork Review
  8. ^ Rolling Stone Review
  9. ^ Slant Review
  10. ^ Lozano, Kevin (2016-08-03). "Conor Oberst Announces New Album Ruminations". Pitchfork. Retrieved .
  11. ^ Lou, Lily (2016-08-03). "Conor Oberst Announces Solo Album, Ruminations". Paste. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Breihan, Tom (2016-08-03). "Conor Oberst Announces New Album Ruminations". Stereogum. Retrieved .
  13. ^ Rettig, James (2015-10-28). "Conor Oberst Hospitalized, Desaparecidos Cancel Tour". Stereogum. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Conor Oberst's "Ruminations," New Solo Acoustic Album, Available October 14 on Nonesuch". Nonesuch Records. 2016-08-03. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Morgan Britton, Luke (2016-08-03). "Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst announces new solo acoustic album 'Ruminations'". NME. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "American Songwriter's Top 50 Albums of 2016". American Songwriter. December 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  17. ^ " - Conor Oberst - Ruminations" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  18. ^ " - Conor Oberst - Ruminations" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  19. ^ " - Conor Oberst - Ruminations" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 42, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  22. ^ " - Conor Oberst - Ruminations". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Conor Oberst Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 25, 2016.

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