As raw and emotionally direct as Oberst has ever sounded. Ruminations finds the singer/songwriter on his own for a set of stark and often unsettling folk—captured over two wintry days in his Nebraska home, following the discovery of a cyst on his brain. “They say a party can kill you,” he sings on “A Little Uncanny,” amid a blur of harmonica and brittle acoustic guitar. “Sometimes I wish it would.” 

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