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4 out of 10
This one's for those who like their Beck, but wish he was a bit more, well, normal sometimes. You know, like that Springsteen chap. A boisterous piece of stomping Americana, Souled Out!!! doesn't really go anywhere - if there's a story, it's buried beneath a pile of rambling imagery and overshadowed by the shouty chorus about not getting into Heaven. Heaven's 'souled out', apparently - do you see what he's done, there? Groovy.
The production is just sharp enough to not outshine the nicely-contrived casual feel of the whole song. There's a bit of a vocal cock-up and a giggle, and Oberst coolly asks whether the band ought to 'go for another one' in the time-honoured rock n' roll way. Everyone then wigs out before the brief acoustic guitar coda. So, we're listening to a serious artist letting his hair down. Nothing wrong with that, it's just that the fun they seem to be having in the studio doesn't tickle the listener, which is a pity.
1. Souled Out!!!