Do You Hear What I Hear? (I’m Hearing the Jim O’Rourke Record The Visitor)

12/22/2009 10:34 AM |

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I don’t know if, after writing this, I’ve just got all of Camp Wilco on the brain or what, but on my way into work this morning, I listened to Jim O’Rourke’s The Visitor, his first album since 2001’s beautiful, underrated Insignificance. Released earlier this year—on CD and vinyl only, no MP3s—it consists of a single 38-minute instrumental track, which O’Rourke recorded by himself in his Tokyo apartment. A bedroom-pop record it’s not, though. The sound is pristine, and the music is a glorious mix of everything we’ve come to expect from O’Rourke over the years: guitar-playing more elegant than anything the American indie scene has ever been able to offer, delicate jazz-influenced drums and piano, countless changes in tempo, and a ability like none other to make you feel like you’re really inside something as you listen. It’s probably not the type of record you’ll throw on while doing the dishes or working at your desk, but next time you can carve out 38 minutes for dedicated listening, you should give it a shot. Also, New Year’s Resolution: carve out more 38-minute chunks of time for dedicated listening.

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