Blue-Eyed Son

West of Lincoln

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Some musicians stick with one style of music throughout their careers. Others, however, are more restless and aren't afraid to take a sharp left turn when the creative urge strikes them; Andrew Heilprin seems to be that type of musician. Before he started his Blue-Eyed Son project, Heilprin was the lead singer for a punk band called 40 Watt Domain. But West of Lincoln isn't punk -- certainly not in the strict sense -- and this softer, more acoustic guitar-friendly effort is characterized by its singer/songwriter aesthetic. Heilprin got the name Blue-Eyed Son from Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," which found the folk-rock icon singing, "Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?" But West of Lincoln isn't overly Dylan-like. Heilprin does include an inspired cover of Dylan's "I Threw It All Away," but overall, this alternative pop/rock CD is much closer to Brit-pop. West of Lincoln has been greatly influenced by the Beatles' more psychedelic work of the late '60s (as opposed to their power pop output of the early to mid-'60s), and it is hard to miss the strong John Lennon/Paul McCartney influence that asserts itself on "Mary," "Step Away from the Cliff," and other songs that Heilprin wrote for this album. That isn't to say that West of Lincoln is a carbon copy of '60s rock -- Heilprin's enjoyable, well-crafted songs are definitely relevant to modern alternative pop/rock, and like Radiohead or Coldplay, he knows how to use the Lennon/McCartney influence on his own terms. West of Lincoln falls short of remarkable, but it's a solid and noteworthy disc that underscores Heilprin's ability to move in a new musical direction without a problem.

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