Oh Holy Fools
Author: john welk
1/22/2001 | Offbeat Magazine - CFUV - Victoria's Public Radio | Album Review
This disc is a split c.d. that features four songs by Son, Ambulance and four songs by Bright Eyes. Son, Ambulance takes their first stab at a studio recording with these four songs. They bring a mixture of the Ben Folds Five and Belle and Sebastian and are a band to keep your indie-rock eyes open for. Textured with piano and Joe Knapp's harmonizing voice, the songs are well written pop tunes to brighten up the day. Bright Eyes are still doing what they do best. Playing beautiful yet unbelievably sad songs about love and death and the way these two themes meld together so elegantly. I don't think I need to reiterate what every other critic says about Conor Oberst's songwriting, but I will; it's brilliant ('nuff said). The songs are written more like stories than they are lyrics; you hang on his every word to find out what's going to happen next. The words can be a bit depressing at times,
but they're riddled with brutal honesty and emotion that the intent is never lost. The music plays perfectly along like an extension of the words, seamlessly entering your psyche. His voice poignantly delivers the message, sounding almost on the verge of tears; you'll be lucky if you yourself don't end up with a small salt lake on the floor. As well, Mike Mogis (who appeared on Songs:Ohia's Ghost Tropic) brings some perfectly placed pedal steel, mandolin and vibraphones to the songs, which adds great atmosphere and depth.