O’Rourke, Jim : Insignificance

No noodly bobbins, then. Not so. This is Jim O'Rourke 2002 style and he ROCKS...

Those who have followed [a]O’Jim Rourke[/a]’s career out of the darkness of impenetrable art-wank through the perverse ramblings of Gastr del Sol to his

dalliance with pop music will know that he’s an unpredictable man. A musical

visionary and writer of some of the most disturbing records of modern times,

[a]O’Jim Rourke[/a]’s special trick is writing beautiful sunshine melodies and then mumbling quietly about such subjects as non-consensual sex with paraplegics over the top.

“[I]If I seem to you a little bit remote/ You’d feel better if you call me a

misanthrope[/I],” he sings with cold-blooded disdain on ‘Insignificance”s opening track, a cataclysmic southern boogie epic called ‘All Downhill From Here’. That’s true enough – be in no doubt of that – but in a world which is overflowing with sickeningly sincere singers that’s why we need him more than ever.

‘Insignificance’ is barely half an hour long but is a work of such unparalleled individual brilliance that you can forgive the slightly rotund Chicagoan

anything. His shimmering tunes are like a more nuts version of [a]Super Furry Animals[/a] – full of inventive twitches and – a new development – great big rock

riffs. His lyrical themes come straight from the black book – ‘Get A Room’ is an inappropriately merry ballad about one of [a]O’Jim Rourke[/a]’s chums waking up paralysed – and [a]Bob Dylan[/a]

would kill for ‘Memory Lane”s withering put-down: “[I]Talking to you reminds me of a motor’s endless drone/ And how the deaf are so damned lucky[/I].”

‘Insignificance’ lays down an awesome challenge to other guitar records – it contains more great ideas than most bands have in their entire career. It’s the

first unequivocal classic album of the new year. Beat that, losers.

Jim Wirth