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Reviews:: Lo Fine Not For Us Two

The new Lo Fine record - Not For Us Two - never moves faster than a gentle spring breeze, and while the sounds might be just as comforting, Kevin O'Rourke's lyrics are full of the insecurities and questions that consume you on those long winter nights. To a casual listener, you might assume O'Rourke is another artist heavily influenced by Will Johnson, and while this may be true, it's not fair to lump him in with the masses trying to follow Will's lead. O'Rourke stands out on the first listen and manages to grab your attention without ever raising his voice.

The lush sounds are beautiful (especially Bruce Tull's masterful pedal steel) , but it's O'Rourke's emotion that draw you in. His songs are more than the elements added to the delicate arrangements. Remotely Together is a simple combination of great pedal steel, guitar, bass and some slow tempo drums, but Kevin's words become a part of you. By the time the song ends, your thoughts are running wild and what once seemed so simple is something beautiful and complex.

Runaway Lullaby plays like someone watching a loved one fade away slowly. Whether this is because of illness (to me it sounds like a sincere look at someone suffering from Alzheimer's or mental illness, but I could be way off base), or just time and change, you feel his helplessness at the situation. And that's the amazing thing of his songs... every song is so honest and pure that you can find whatever meaning you need to answer our questions.

O'Rourke writes thoughts that could play out different on every listen. His work is pure emotion, and instead of putting you along side his characters, he lets you find your own path through his words. His understanding of the unraveling of relationships (Words Like We and Sight Behind Lids) is a common theme for his poetry, but it's delivered so effectively that it almost plays out like something you thought of first.

I really hate trying to write about these types of records, so rich in purity, freedom and emotion that every listener's experience will be different. The one thing they will have in common is they will be all rewarding.

[MP3]:: Remotely Together
[MP3]:: #37
[MP3]:: Smile
[MP3]:: Slow to a Crawl

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