Published Apr 28, 2020The Greener Pasture, singer-songwriter Peter Oren's second release on Western Vinyl, is a thinkpiece handcrafted in the solitude of a remote cabin near Nashville, Indiana. Featuring the soft embrace of Oren's deep baritone voice, much of the record presents as a gloomy reflection of the surroundings and solitude he found himself in.
The record focuses on the idea that the twenty-first century has found humanity growing increasingly inward, bracing for its inevitable implosion. Album highlight "Free" features Oren's stunningly vulnerable delivery underpinned by a dreary sense of foreboding, wrapped in a cautionary tale about a cow's longing for freedom, while the title track features a mild electronic beat, but with a decidedly country-folk twist.
Although the arrangements and instrumentation are suitably sparse to drive Oren's point home, it's worth noting that he was helped by a series of collaborators who submitted their contributions over the internet, which makes moments like the phone-decrying "Whole World" come off as borderline self-righteous. It's a bare bones and soul baring record paired with Oren's hermitic production style, but is itself unable to fully escape the trappings of modernity to get the job done. (Western Vinyl)