A casual documentary chronicling the formation of Conor Oberst's Mystic Valley Band during the early days of 2008 and their subsequent tour, One of My Kind appeared as a free download in 2009 and then a re-edit was packaged for an official release in 2012, accompanied by a soundtrack of the same name. Considering how raggedness is part of the band's appeal, this collection comprised of B-sides, tour-only EPs, re-recordings, and outtakes from the band's two albums emphasizes that ramshackle charm. Oberst deliberately designed the Mystic Valley Band to evoke the folkie country-rock of Laurel Canyon in the early '70s, a comparison he invites by covering Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" and the folk standard "Corrina, Corrina" here, and by inviting other members of the band to take lead vocals, he retains the illusion that this a bustling collaborative collective. And these moments are fun, adding blood and warmth to the album, but the heart of One of My Kind lies in those tunes for the Gentleman's Pact EP, three songs -- "One of My Kind," "Breezy," and "Gentleman's Pact" -- that aren't throwaways and that anchor the careening country-rock that surrounds them. One of My Kind remains a little slight -- it is most assuredly not designed as a "major statement," the way so many of Oberst's earliest records were -- but it's also true that Conor Oberst is often at his best when he is not trying so hard...and that's why the Mystic Valley Band is good for him, as this engaging soundtrack proves.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2