Saturday, February 23, 2008

Jim O' Rourke "Insignificance" (Drag City, 2001)

Artist: Jim O' Rourke
Album: "Insignificance"
Release Date: November 20, 2001
Label: Drag City
Genre: Indie-Rock, Post-Rock, Chamber-Pop
Mood: Refined, Gentle, Springlike, Laid-Back
Reminds Of: Gastr Del Sol, Smog, Mice Parade
What People Think: PitchforkMedia, SplendidMagazine
Definitely Worth Buying: InSound, Amazon

1. All Downhill From Here
2. Insignificance
3. Therefore, I Am
4. Memory Lame
5. Good Times
6. Get A Room
7. Life Goes Off

All pretensions of modesty -- and allusions to Nicholas Roeg films -- aside, Insignificance, Jim O'Rourke's third solo album for Drag City, reaffirms that he is not only a fine composer, arranger, and producer, but a gifted, creative songwriter as well. As with Eureka and the Halfway to a Threeway EP, O'Rourke continues to find as many possibilities in singing and songwriting as he does experimenting with pure sound. However, this time O'Rourke adds a few twists to the formula he pioneered on those two efforts. He sings on each of Insignificance's tracks, his frail voice providing a sharp contrast to the lush arrangements and sardonic lyrics of songs like the wryly titled opener, "All Downhill From Here," where he observes, "If I seem to you just a little bit remote/You'd feel better if you call me a misanthrope/Or whatever floats your boat/But as for me, I'd rather sink my own." On songs like "Get a Room" and the finale, "Life Goes Off," which, like "Halfway to a Threeway," are twisted yet poignant odes to the strange things we will do for intimacy, Insignificance recalls the sweet sonics and sour sentiments of O'Rourke's work with Smog. Beautifully arranged pop epics like the title track are clearly descended from Eureka's breezy brilliance, but the surprisingly insistent, crunchy rock guitars on the excellent "Therefore I Am" and "Memory Lame" add an extra bite and urgency that O'Rourke's pop-oriented work has lacked previously. Though each of the album's tracks is meticulously crafted, none of them feel overworked. That's probably because Insignificance was recorded in just under a month; it has the warm, immediate feel of an album that only took as long as necessary to make. Fans of O'Rourke's more avant-garde material may dismiss the album as too mainstream, but its endlessly listenable songs are just as significant as any of his more experimental work.

(source: AllMusicGuide)

So sharply tuned to the dark inner-workings of the human psyche; applause is due...


myrkursoli said...

copy the link into your web browser

Death Of The Left Unfinished

Allen Ginsberg In Space said...

awesome stuff. great job!

myrkursoli said...

thank you mr. ginsberg...
stay tuned

Death Of The Left Unfinished

PBK said...

PBK here:

For those interested, I uploaded two mixtapes O'Rourke sent to me in 1989. They are mostly electroacoustic things he was discovering and listening to while in college. Includes such composers as Dolden, Parmegianni, Francois Bayle, Robert Ashley, Pierre Henry and much more- Check it out at my Sound Genetic blog

rapidshare links here:

PS Great post, This is a wonderful album...