Oh Holy Fools
documenting his pain, but there are glimmers of hope. "No lies, just love," is the recounting of a near suicide attempt-remembering the note written and the reasons to let go. The connection to others drags him back, and a soon-to-be-born nephew makes him want to change: "My brother's first child, I hope that womb is not too warm/ Because it is
cold out here and it would be quite a shock to breathe this air/ To discover loss..."
Oberst knows what he's doing-detests it, even-but can't seem to stop himself because he thrives on feeling, feeling anything, even if it's pain, which it most always is. The exploitation works both ways, of course: if Oberst is hawking his pain and the pain of others as art, as a living, we're paying him to do our crying. The deeper you get into the misery, the more you wonder if this pain is real (did he really come that close to offing himself?). Then you wonder, would it make the music better or worse if it was
imagined or genuine? Son, Ambulance-the project of another sensitive singer-songwriter, Joe Knapp-also finds a lot of pain in the world, but there is more hope in his voice and lyrics. Knapp is easily saddened, but like Oberst finds hope in children. "Brown Park" is a sweet elegy about watching kids play in the park: "They never taught us how to breathe/ We learned to listen to the wind outside." All in all, Oh Holy Fools is a nice introduction to what could be two of the best songwriters of the future.
LP / CD / MP3
LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3