Blue-Eyed Son - West of Lincoln

Eenie-Meenie

Music Reviews Blue-Eyed Son
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Blue-Eyed Son - West of Lincoln

Someone was bound to come along, sooner or later, trading on the legacy of the late, great Elliott Smith. But how’s this for an unlikely candidate: former surf-punk frontman for 40-Watt Domain, Andrew Heilprin? Under the moniker Blue-Eyed Son (a nod to Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”), Heilprin’s gone acoustic and, in the transformation, emerged as a balladeer eerily reminiscent of Smith, especially in his vocal phrasing. And the Smith connections on West of Lincoln don’t stop at the whispery voice; engineer Doug Boehm worked with Smith, as did drummer Scott McPherson. Eels producer Rusty Logsdon wields the other major influence here, and the songs can practically be split down the middle into melancholy Smith cuts (“Fairview,” “The Tide,” “Suffering Sea”) and bouncy, dark pop numbers a la the Eels (“Step Away from the Cliff,” “Mary,” “When I Come Home”). To Heilprin’s credit, the mix is so evenly balanced that neither influence totally dominates, resulting in a unique niche he may just be able to call his own.