Jim O’Rourke – Bad Timing

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Lazy music befitting a lazy day, lying supine on a hammock somewhere on a sunny Sunday afternoon, a Kronenberg 1664 Blanc somewhere within reach, a book that you’ll never finish on top of you. This is whereabouts Jim O’Rourke started the move from a drone artist into a more accessible one, shall we say, a third of the way to Halfway to a Threeway? (Between that EP’s title and “There’s Hell in Hello But Not in Goodbye,” he sure liked his poetic titles, didn’t he?) I personally prefer when he made the switch to art pop in 1999; he wouldn’t explore the long-form acoustic folk of Bad Timings again until 2009’s The Visitor. But his primary talent is his use of colour, primarily seen in his production work for late-period Sonic Youth and Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and there’s plenty of that here: the pedal steel guitar in “94 the Long Way”; the accordion of the title track; the mariachi band that comes out of nowhere in the final third of “Happy Trails.” It is lazy stuff: there’s no thought put into transitioning any of the parts of “Happy Trails” except the one where the mariachi band dissolves (only the mariachi band section comes off as a result; the drone of the first part ends like he pressed a button), and broadly speaking, there’s a lot of repetition here for crescendos through Brian Eno’s method of adding instruments (ie. the horns added to “94 the Long Way”; the pedal steel guitar added to the title track that didn’t do much), but the crescendos are never achieved, merely swelling and receding. Lazy, but pretty.

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3 responses to “Jim O’Rourke – Bad Timing

  1. Pingback: Christopher Fennesz & Jim O’Rourke – It’s Hard for Me To Say I’m Sorry | Free City Sounds·

  2. Pingback: Wilco – Schilmo | Free City Sounds·

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