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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Bright Eyes/Son, Ambulance
Oh Holy Fools
Saddle Creek

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Oh Holy Fools is split between Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes, each contributing four songs to the more than forty minutes of music. Son, Ambulance revolves around the songwriting of Joe Knapp, a long time collaborator with Bright Eyes, and this record marks their studio debut.

It appears that Ambulance won the coin toss, as the record opens with Brown Park, a roughly five-and-a-half minute piano solo. I say piano solo because that is what it sounds like on the surface. Listening closely, it's possible to hear a very faint but steady drum beat, distant voices, and various other instruments in the background. But for the most part, it's just piano, tinkling away. The piece seems remarkably simple at first, it's only hook being the unexpected tempo changes here and there. As the song progresses, however, it begins to diversify and expand and eventually peaks and leaves the listener with the realization that "maybe that wasn't so simple after all." Next up, Bright Eyes with "Going For the Gold". Connor Oberst is at the controls, and as usual, he delivers a captivating narrative thinly wrapped and laced with acoustic guitar. Don't look for excitement in this tune, or on this record for that matter. There is not much to be found. As the tracks alternate between Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes they sort of fuse together and become tangled (or maybe woven is a better word) like a silk thread.

What you will find on this record is quality storytelling and calm, beautiful melodies. This is not going to be a popular choice for play by thrill seekers or joggers or hip-hop fans or any number of other groups of people who lack the patience to let songs develop around mood and theme, but rather hope for the quick payoff of the driving backbeat or the cool catch phrase. The word "nookie" is not on this record.

The highlight of the disc comes at the very end, with the Bright Eyes track "Kathy with a K's Song". There is no doubt that this had to be the last song on the disc. As the ear has been hypnotized by the central portion of the record, this song continues that transient state with Connor's shaky vocals and sparse acoustic guitar until about three-and-a-half minutes into the song. At this point, the melody is shattered as the band explodes. A deluge of organs and brass and strings rain down and wash away the peace that was built in the first 39 minutes of the disc. It is a beautiful climax, and a fitting end.

Reviewed by Ryan Guffey


See other reviews by Ryan Guffey

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