5. "Landlocked Blues"
Album: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning Year Recorded: 2005
Conor Oberst has always been one of those songwriters that actively engages his music in communicating political messages and taking a stand for issues he strongly believes in. This song takes a strong stance against war, gun violence, and the greed that fuels many of these conflicts. At the same time, it elaborates on the terrifying fear in relationships that caring too much will cause them to fall apart, or that if we care too much it will end in separation and the inevitable decision to walk away. This song is a powerful cultural commentary in either vein, and is bolstered by the harmonies of the otherworldly Emmylou Harris. And despite its grim stance, the triumphant horn solo at the end is almost enough to convince the listener that loving someone enough to let them walk away might mean they really will eventually return.