Reviews

Oh Holy Fools

Author: Oakland L. Childers
12/15/2000 | Colorado Daily | Album Review
Oh Holy Fools

It takes a lot of guts to be a singer/songwriter. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is a lot easier when you've got a lot of loud guitars and drums drowning you out, or when you are screaming your lungs out. Neither Conor Oberst nor Joe Knapp give themselves the luxury of any such diversions. The music they make as Bright Eyes and Son, Ambulance respectively is bare. The production highlights rather than downplays the importance of each man as the nucleus of the music they make. Oh Holy Fools is great idea. This EP has four songs each from Bright Eyes and Son, Ambulance, strengthening the hold Oberst has on the singer/songwriter genre, while simultaneously introducing the world to Knapp's take on the role. The tracks go back and forth: one by Bright Eyes, then one by Son, Ambulance. This is also a good idea because it forces the casual listener to check out the whole CD, instead of just listening to the first or last four songs. The two men share a common interest in bare-bones songwriting, but take a distinctly different tack in execution. Oberst's lyrics tend to be very straightforward, leaving little to interpretation. Knapp, on the other hand, can be a little cryptic. Nonetheless, I would be surprised if fans of Bright Eyes don't really dig Son, Ambulance. Knapp will have a full-length out in the summer, and it should be a hit. Bright Eyes continues to be amazing and weird. Oberst is no stranger to writing morose songs that tug at the heart strings, but he has outdone himself this time. "No lies, just love," tells of a time when Oberst contemplated suicide. It is a depressing but uplifting song, a paradox that is not uncommon in Oberst's music. I would dare call this EP necessary for any fan of the prose-put-to-music songwriting style. Bright Eyes shines and Son, Ambulance surprises with a similar but original approach.
Oh Holy Fools

Oh Holy Fools

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