Author: Lynn Margolis
10/25/2004 | Rollingstone.com | www.rollingstone.com | Album Review
Good thing Bright Eyes collaborator Joe Knapp wasn't punning on "somnambulance" when he named his solo act Son, Ambulance, 'cause this isn't sleep-walking music. ("Son" refers to the little answering-machine voice that opens the album.) Knapp's an emo guy; he knows how to build drama, which he does really well in "Sex in C Minor." The opus swells with piano-filled suspense as his thin voice rises, his stream-of-consciousness words growing more passionate, until they're broken by the almost atonal swirl of Jenna Morrison's voice, which then goes Morcheeba-like, beautiful and sensual, in "C Minor Interlude." Knapp's got orchestration on the brain; in "Taxi Driver," he sings, "She's got symphonies to compose/Maybe I was just a melody/Who knows?" In the delicate "Houseguest," he writes of time and a kite that "sails upon a sigh" to evoke another heartbreak. He may be one more poor bastard unlucky in love, but unlike unrelentingly morbid ex-roomie Conor Oberst, Knapp goes for nuance. And that's a good thing.