The Visitor

Jim O'Rourke


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2009, Drag City

The cat's back in the bag again - try not to throw it in the river this time! This one is special: Jim O'Rourke has delivered his first new solo album since 2001. The Visitor hasn't made us wait as long as Chinese Democracy...but it has made us wince a lot less. Call it Jim's Japanese Democracy - a republic of one inside the studio where it was recorded and mixed. The Visitor is a seriously all-O'Rourke affair - all the sounds you hear are Jim and Jim alone. So this time you can't blame any of those session dudes and their bloodless line readings - teh chill you're getting is a one-hundred percent O'Rourke effect. As a matter of fact, it might be more like 200 percent - some of The Visitor is tracked so deep, it took two hundred tracks to hold it all. To Jim's credit, though, the mix sounds very minimal, very straightforward - not like several hundred tracks at all. Call it his invisible wall of sound - Spector without the gun. But what Jim lacks in firearms, he makes up for in desire.

The Visitor is full of percolating banjos, smooth electric leads, organic, kicking drum sounds, the flickering of shakers to the left and right, mellow but ominous woodwinds, sounds that indicate "vintage" (before turning left and running out the door), sonic jokes, sonic tear-jerkers, sonic jerkoffs, all wrapped in spacious yet subtle left to right placement of everything in the picture. There's moments of low comedy next to high drama and juicy melancholy with a seeming lack of regard for proximity (which, of course, is just what Jim wants you to think). Plus - sudden surging rhythms! Jim O'Rourke is back!


Disc 1
1 Visitor

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