That's a rather happy plush frog, isn't it? I wonder what it could possibly be thinking at this very moment. Maybe it daydreams of lush meadows, waking up to the sounds of birds chirping away, with the sun breaking through the blinds of its window and shining into it's eyes. Or, maybe, it's listening to Jim O'Rourke's Halfway to a Threeway
. Many know Jim O'Rourke as a producer, composer, musician, and third guitarist in Sonic Youth, though I doubt that any average person even knows this. I think they should. Do you want to know why? Well....
Halfway to a Threeway
is so deceptively simple, that it's hard to believe at times. Most of the songs are built around a simple acoustic guitar progression, with other instruments layered overtop of the jangly guitar playing, with piano accents throughout some of the songs, especially "The Workplace". The songs are wonderfully melodic, but not so as to shove every melody right into your face, reaching for your attention. Instead, the melodies are fairly subdued, meaning that you have to listen a little more than you would on any "normal" pop record. The first three songs are all beautiful, with trumpet motifs coming in at certain points, providing a rather jazzy feel to the songs. "Fuzzy Sun" is obviously the most "pop" of the songs, as you can tell from the rather brief running length of two-and-a-half-minutes. The best song, though, is easily the title track. Jim and a echoing choir, somehow sounding distant, harmonize over a rather simple acoustic backing, once again deceptively simple and melodic. Now I know why that frog on the cover is so cheerful lookiing. Halfway to a Threeway
is a record that makes you happy, no matter what life my bring you. The music is so astoundingly beautiful, but yet Jim does it with a small amount of instruments. I can certainly forgive Jim for the length, because he has certainly provided one of my favorite pieces of music to this day, and that is something that's hard to do.