Son Ambulance has been unfairly compared to Ben Folds. And when I say "unfairly," I mean, "if I were Ben Folds, I would be calling my lawyers and seeing how lucrative suing music journalists can be." But, like all inferior things that get compared to something more established, the comparison is unfair on both sides. Son Ambulance can't hold a candle to Ben Folds. But it's not because Son Ambulance is bad. He's just not Ben Folds. Do they both play piano? Sure. But Shaq and Shawn Bradley both played center. It doesn't mean they had anything in common.
The two best tracks off his new (and poorly titled) album, Someone Else's Deja Vu, tap a number of influences. "Juliet's Son" bears resemblance to Elliot Smith and frankly, it's hard to see how this isn't a retroactive part of the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. "Horizons" is a subtle and dark affair. Instrumentally and arrangement-wise, it reminds you of Bruce Springsteen's artistic infighting during the 1990s. It's brooding and a little poppy. It's very close to "Streets of Philadelphia." It's a song that wrestles with itself before settling back into a hushed little moment. But don't let the comparisons kill you.
Son Ambulance - Juliet's Son
Son Ambulance - Horizons