O'Rourke, Jim : Insignificance

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

Those who have followed O'Jim Rourke'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,

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

"If I seem to you a little bit remote/ You'd feel better if you call me a

," 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 Super Furry Animals - 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 O'Jim Rourke's chums waking up paralysed - and Bob Dylan

would kill for 'Memory Lane''s withering put-down: "Talking to you reminds me of a motor's endless drone/ And how the deaf are so damned lucky."

'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
8 / 10

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