Bright Eyes / Son, Ambulance

Oh Holy Fools: The Music of Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes

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For his second split release with fellow Omaha songwriter Joe Knapp (recording as Son, Ambulance), Bright Eyes mastermind Conor Oberst and his rotating crew of talented musicians proudly offer up four striking new originals. Contributing the same number of tracks, Son, Ambulance introduces a unique musical perspective as Knapp's jerky guitar and piano-based compositions float along with his lazy high-range vocals, producing a sound akin to more upbeat Belle & Sebastian recordings. The album opening "Brown Park" is an uplifting childlike ride, and Knapp's final submission of "Katie Come True" proves that he's nearly as talented as Oberst when it comes to pop songwriting. Bright Eyes' contributions are equally engaging, and again prove that a penchant for a bit of melodrama can be overlooked in the company of startling and confessional lyric writing. Backed by what may be his best band to date, Oberst's songs are brought to life with the help of producer Mike Mogis and flutist Jiha Lee, whose contributions are particularly transcendent on tracks like "Going for the Gold" and in the explosive resolution of "Kathy With a K's Song." Oh Holy Fools is a magnificent showcase of two uniquely gifted singer/songwriters, and if you're a fan of one it's almost safe to guarantee that the other will also blow you away.

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