September 29, 2009

Jim O'Rourke: "The Visitor".

Famed Chicagoland Producer/Experimental artist Jim O'Rourke returns with what appears to be a head-on collision between 1997's Bad Timing and 2001's Insignificance, judging by the album cover - more than probably promising a new inductee to 2009's "Best of" hall of fame.

O'Rourke's fascination with John Fahey is perhaps never as forefront as The Visitor twinkles to life - an amalgam of steel and acoustic guitar accented tenderly by a sustained piano and brushed percussion.

Absent of any of Insignificance's sarcastic, growling pop, The Visitor plays like a live folk guitarist's improvisational dream set. The subtleties of O'Rourke's softer, impressionistic side - evident in earlier tracks such as "Movie on the Way Down" from 1999's Eureeka - sparkle between glimpses into a redesigned Americana-folk feel for the 21st Century experimental underground (Bill Frisell meets Gershwin meets Talk Talk).

Side B of O'Rourke's 38 minute-long instrumental "The Visitor" slips some impressively tasteful, dynamic arrangements into the mix, including a playful auto-wah electric guitar and staccato string accompaniment towards the close of The Visitor.

As predicted, The Visitor tops the "Best of 2009" charts along with Tortoise's Beacons of Ancestorship and Extra Golden's Thank You Very Quickly. Highly, highly recommended.

Order The Visitor now on LP and CD from Chicago's Drag City label.

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