Stockholm Munich Brewery

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This time we find him enchanted by history, relaxed in its company, rather than struggling to define his own peculiar niche...

The mists part, the spectacles are rubbed clean. Jim O’Rourke can see clearly now. Eureka, that’s what he says: he’s finally got it. Of course, those whose lives revolve around the Thrill Jockey release schedule might argue that he’s always had it, that beneath the abstract drones and percolation of his myriad production projects, O’Rourke has always been capable of beauty.

They’d have a point, too, one reinforced by 1997’s playful ‘Bad Timing’ album and now, more emphatically, by the casual dynamics and understated grace of ‘Eureka’, a pop record made by a man too often hindered by his subjects’ theories and mechanics. This time we find him enchanted by history, relaxed in its company, rather than struggling to define his own peculiar niche. Which he does anyway.

Naturally, it’s all in the arrangement. The way ‘Women Of The World’ weaves scores of instruments into its mellifluous John Fahey-esque guitar lines. The way each song contains more ideas than most bands will ever comprehend. “I’m going to a place where the women have nothing on but the radio”: even his lyrics are great.