Reviews

Oh Holy Fools

Author: Jason Claveloux
01/22/2001 | The Beacon Insider - Wayne, NJ | Album Review
Omaha, Nebraska's Saddle Creek Records is starting the year 2001 off on the right foot, with their newest release, Oh Holy Fools - The Music of Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes. The last couple years have seen Saddle Creek gain a foothold in the indie rock community with critically acclaimed records by Cursive, The Faint, and the aforementioned Bright Eyes. Now, Saddle Creek is teaming Bright Eyes up with Omaha rookies Son, Ambulance for a split CD. The record features four songs by each artist, alternating back and forth.
The advantage gained by splitting the songs in such a way is deeply rooted in each artists style. While Bright Eyes goes the traditional emo-indie route, with confessional vocals layered over Beatles style indie-rock, Son, Ambulance chooses to turn Ben Folds Five into an emo band, and do it wonderfully. Joe Knapp, the main force behind Son, Ambulance, jazzes up the mostly boring emo scene with some fun piano playing, beginning with "Brown Park", the first track on the disc, then calms down and shows the listener his sensitive side on "The Invention of Beauty", "On The Concourse", and "Kaite Come True". There is something honest and special about Joe's songs which prevent Son, Ambulance from falling into the pit of doomed emo-indie rock songwriters.
Like Joe, Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst makes honesty the number one goal of his songs, even when that honesty reveals a lot about his own private life. His stories, whether autobiographical or not, are deeply moving, filled with realistic emotions and beyond all other things, hope. While Conor sings of love and heartbreak in his familiar vibrato vocal style, he leaves the listener with the feeling that the story is not complete, even when he leaves the song on a sour note.
Oh Holy Fools proves that there is still ground to break in the indie rock, singer-songwriter genre, and that this style of music has a lot to offer when it is performed correctly. Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes perform it correctly.
Oh Holy Fools

Oh Holy Fools

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