Author: Adam Gnade
10/10/2004 | Skyscraper | www.skyscrapermagazine.com/ | Album Review
When we first heard from what would become Son, Ambulance it was on an Insound split CD with Bright Eyes. Before once of the songs there was a sample of Joe Knapp's son talkin' baby talk. I mean real baby talk, goos and aghs and cahhs. The songs were shaky and so beyond lo-fi it was ridiculous. Key, then, shows how far Joe has come, opening with his son talking on his dad's voicemail. But really talking, like a human being. Real words. No goos, aghs, or cahhs. Really driving the passage of time home is the second song, a revamp of the Insound split's "Billy Budd." Gone is the amateur hour stuff, and in its place is a confident, elegant interpretation with stately guitar, a steady and clear voice - realized in every way. The rest of the record moves forward like that - composed, put together. After watching Knapp move from Bright Eyes contributor to unsteady solo artist, to this , this urgent and rowdy and alive sound is great. I feel like my little brother or something has suddenly come into his own. I'm proud, I really am. Nice work Joe.