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Jim O'Rourke: Eureka

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Japanese Blu-Spec CD pressing of this classic album. The Blue Spec format takes Blu-ray disc technology to create CD's which are compatible with normal CD players but provides ultra high quality sound. Sony. 2009.

Album Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly (4/9/99, p.77) - "This Chicago-based underground scenester performs trippy mutations on everything from cool jazz to prog-rock to Sergio Mendes bossa nova..." - Rating: B

The Wire (1/00, p.67) - Included in Wire Magazine's "50 Records Of The Year ['99]"

The Wire (4/99, p.68) - "...gorgeous, a silky confection with its heart in late 60s orchestrated American pop, with just enough edgy noises to hold onto its avant status..."

CMJ (3/15/99, p.22) - "...Chicago's favorite avant-son has pulled a fast one on fans of his deconstructionist aesthetic, as the album plays it atypically melodic and pop centric. In fact, EUREKA is practically easy listening, marked by light, jazzy arrangements and swank instrumental detail..."

Mojo (Publisher) (1/00, p.30) - Ranked #32 in Mojo Magazine's "Best of 1999"

Mojo (Publisher) (4/99, p.108) - "...O'Rourke blends brass, woodwind, double bass, strings, steel guitars and pianos into a heady tropical punch, garnished with lyrics that cover everything from cakes to car crashes..."

Album Notes

Personnel includes: Jim O'Rourke (vocals, various instruments); Julie Pomerleau (violin, viola); Fred Lonberg Holm (cello); Flim Barnes (percussion).

Recorded between July 1997 and December 1998.

Jim O'Rourke's reputation as an inaccessible avant-garde music boffin is shattered by the beguiling charm of EUREKA. After more than a decade of abstraction, experimentation, and improvisation, O'Rourke unleashed this playful curveball as if to prove he was human after all. Lush and complex arrangements decorate these slightly bizarre songs. The nearest comparison is probably Van Dyke Parks's 1968 magnum opus SONG CYCLE. Both albums are richly rewarding if you're prepared to persevere beyond the initial strangeness.

Nimble acoustic guitars dominate the trance-like opener "Women Of The World" (written by deadpan Scottish absurdist Ivor Cutler). O'Rourke is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, and his playing is imaginative and full of rich texture, but there's nothing po-faced about EUREKA. A light and happy mood is sustained throughout the album. The Latin-flavored "Something Big" takes its cues from the exotic pop of Esquivel, and is a joyful highlight.


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