jim o’rourke – halfway to a threeway

i know this came to me for three reasons: jim o’rourke had appeared on a few albums i already had (most memorably in the boxhead ensemble); the title is conceptually quite hilarious when you think about it; and the cover images clinched it. the brown bear on the back reminds me wholly of my own ted who’s still going strong after 35 years!

and for whatever reason, i think i expected more than it delivers. this doesn’t really discern from contemporaries such as tortoise, and the blokes from the sea & cake who actually appear on a couple of the songs here. not to mention the presence of glenn kotche of more famed wilco who have been previously considered here (and dismissed – knowing also that jim produced the album). there’s instrumental duration and repetition; the likes of which have been done better by at least a handful of others in the collection.

his singing generally leaves me indifferent – a non-feeling i don’t listen to music for (or live any part of my life for). to that end, it annoys me a bit. the redemption only comes at the end (fourth of four songs) with the eponymous effort that works with the quiet solo acoustic guitar and his actually well-matched voice (except for the peaking oooos in the middle). it’s a beautiful tune.

yet, if you listen to the lyrics, it takes back all the gain that was made. it’s worse than you could actually imagine… congenital immobility as a mechanism for controlling someone? plain wrong.


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