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Eureka

4.6 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 8, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Another feather in the headdress of avant-rock's leading prolific chieftain Jimbo O, as he takes a cue from some of the many artists he's produced lately (SMOG, STEPHEN PRINA, FAUST, FAHEY, et al), and tries his hand at experimental pop music. Of course it's not like any other pop band you've heard before - that wouldn't be Jim's style, but it does have all the required catchy hooks, pleasant melodies and good-time sounds you demand from your down-time musical diversions. Includes a Bacharach cover that finally puts him on par with folks on the Tzadik label and Elvis Costello.

Amazon.com

Jim O'Rourke has undergone a radical transformation since leaving Chicago's rock-improv ensemble Gastr Del Sol. While previously enjoying the singular role of avant-garde guitar hero, O'Rourke has slowly blossomed into a skillful producer with an extremely refined artistic sense. On Eureka he embraces an orchestral pop motif replete with horns, strings, and even female background vocalists. While O'Rourke's music reveals a strong debt to guitarist John Fahey and arranger Van Dyke Parks, it is his singing on this album that makes for a dreamy departure into modern folk-rock. Surrounding himself with some of Chicago's finest underground musicians, O'Rourke creates a rich tapestry of sophisticated sound that is both gentle and distinctive. More than having tremendous musical talent, O'Rourke is now making beautiful records. --Mitch Myers

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Prelude To 110 Or 220/Woman Of The World
  2. Ghost Ship In A Storm
  3. Movie On The Way Down
  4. Through The Night Softly
  5. Please Patronize Our Sponsors
  6. Something Big
  7. Eureka
  8. Happy Holidays


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 8, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B00000I406
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Jim O'Rourke Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Jim O'Rourke's direction with Eureka is rather unprecedented. The album can be quite kitschy at times but overall is very multi-dimensional for the following several reasons. A Burt Bacharach cover ("Something Big") is delightful indeed. Instrumental tracks contain interesting guitar work that can be a little drawn out but at the same time is capable of resolving itself well and being very dramatic. Vocal tracks from O'Rourke such as "Prelude To 110 Or 120/Women Of The World" and "Ghost Ship In A Storm" are good even though his singing is not the best. At times I venture to compare this release to the Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds because of its use of interesting instrumentation, its 'materpieceness,' and the new directions that it implies for the artist. Eureka is superb and is recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
From the Very First Notes in the opening anthem "Prelude to 110 or 120 Women of the World" you will know that you're in for something different. This Guy makes every note his own. The Guitars are Crisp & Brilliant, and the orchestration lets itself in and out with such a profound gentleness that you will get Goosebumps in very unexpected places. Don't let the length of the first piece, or the mere 5 song playlist deter you. These "mere" 5 Pieces are all welcome musical Tours of Force. The Second and Stunning piece "Ghost Ship in a Storm" will have you humming parts that you might not have even thought you heard the first time around. Keep Listening! By the time "Something Big" starts spinning, you will be certain that you are listening to the future of Pop Music. This is NO Chamber Fluff. Just when the Flaming Lips have proved that you can Re-Invent Rock, along comes this gorgeous Re-invention of Something Else. This is one that Amazon recommended and I thank their computer profiling software for the advice. But it! Something Big Indeed!
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Format: Audio CD
What I love about Jim O'Rourke's recent solo material is the risks he takes. He not only takes risks for the traditional music listener, but takes risks for the standard "experimental" music listener. It is challenging music from any perspective, it follows no preconceived "sound". I know many people who love his other work in brise-glace and gastr del sol, and cannot stand this stuff. It just shows you that O'Rourke is not out to please anybody. He's gonna do whatever the hell he wants to do and he doesn't care one way or the other what the public thinks of it. For example, in the fourth song, it starts out with an almost gastr style solo piano part, brings in some beautifull steel drums and vibes, then a few minutes into it, all of a sudden it busts into a wailing saxophone solo that sounds like the ending of Saturday Night Live. I read he spent about 2 hours trying to get the saxophonist to play it cheezier and cheezier. Too much to handle for a lot of people, Eureka is constantly coming at you out of left feild. The album is an amazingly orchestrated album of slightly demented artistic-pop music kind of in the tradition of Van Dyke Parks. I recommend this to anyone looking for music that adheres to nobody else's standards whatsoever, and never fails to push the listener's limits.
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Format: Audio CD
Every once in a while an album comes along that twists things so completely that it defies any sort of category. Yes there is a lot that is familiar here. Some of it almost an eerie, pre-natal familiarity. But the peculiar perspectives with which Jim O'Rourke combines these disparate images leaves the head swimming. Take, for example, the opening track "Women of the World." This is the kind of song that practically from the first note, like it or not, is instantly lasered into the grey matter of the listener. The implications of the anthemic lyrics leave one punch drunk with possiblities. Is he being sincere? Is he being ironic? My only impotent conclusion is probably a little bit of both. I am left thinking that perhaps, just by accident, Jim has summed up the attitude of an entire generation in 21 words repeated to the point of absurdity. I'm also left thinking that I am almost certainly missing the entire point of the song by saying something like that. Confusing? Yes. But in the most preciously soothing way. What really blows me away about this album is how broad an appeal something so freakin' weird could have. I have played this album for countless people with the most varied music tastes (a calculated experiment by the way). Literally every single one of them likes it. Not only do they like it, they feel compelled to say so. Usually they are so tongue-tied though that "woah" is the only semi-intelligible thing they are able to utter.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am new to Jim O Rourke, but this is a mind boggling album. I picked it up and its absolutely awesome. Awesome does not do this album justice. This is in my top 3 albums of all time hands down. This is my favorite O'Rourke album. It took me a listen or two to get used to it but its kind of acoustic mixed in with horns and light orchesta. This album is a must have for anyone who likes laid back music and may be a fan of Sam Prekop or the Sea and Cake. This goes straight to my ipod and await to check out moer O Rourkes albums.

Most of the songs on this album literally give me goosebumps no matter how often I listen. Like" Movie on the way" down how it slowly builds up, and the song "Eureka" are both goosebump givers. " Through the night softly" is a beautiful piano ballad with a sax toward the end, and I love" please patrnose our sponsors"(I feel as if I heard this song in a previous lifetime). And can't get enough of "Happy Holidays"--short song with great lyrics.

One thing I love about O'Rourkes style is he experiments with different sounds and has some of his songs that are just instrumentals(probably the majority of his songs) and some where he adds his vocals which are great in fact.

It is mind boggling to me that artists like O Rourke go unrecognized throughout the world. I just recently found out about him by pure circumstance and taking a chance on new music. Wish I knew about him 15 years ago. While there are idiotic no talented musicians who are played on the radio and shown on tv who have more or less no talent and their "music" is truly horrendous.

But I promise you anyone who buys this album will like it if not love it no matter what your musical inclinations or proclivities are. This album is truly breathtaking.
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