If anyone listens to those songs and thinks that Oberst "sees himself as some kind of Savior," they obviously missed the entire point. He writes them from different points of view to emphasize what the song is about, not to glorify himself.
As far as his music "falling into precise and pretty folk-rock impulses and songs that lack the emotional immediacy of his earlier material," that's completely subjective and invalid. Just because he adjusted what he wrote about from personal angst (even though that's meant to be universal anyway) to broader social issues doesn't mean that the music he made is any less authentic and consistent.
I'm not saying everyone in the world needs to like Conor's music - it isn't exactly easy listening. But I am saying that the man is one of the most prolific and creatively gifted individuals currently in existence, and simply not enjoying what he creates doesn't make that any less true.
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