The Lonesome Organist

Forms and Follies

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The four years between Cavalcade (1999) and Forms and Follies (2003) were busy ones for Jeremy Jacobsen. He recorded two jazzy math rock albums with fellow Chicagoans Euphone, wound up on a Blues Explosion record (1999's odds 'n' sods collection Xtra Acme), and dazzled crowds the world over with his bottomless bag of tricks as one-man band extraordinaire the Lonesome Organist. His reputation far outweighs his slim catalog of three albums in seven years, aided in no small part by his busy but not-so-lonesome tour schedule, which included a prestigious late-2002 appearance at the David Bowie-curated Meltdown festival. Recalling nothing so much as Laurie Anderson's initial stab at avant pop that gave the world "O Superman," Forms and Follies doesn't ape Anderson, but its result is as quirky, eclectic, and, at times, haunting as her work. "Who's to Say Your Soul's Not Carbon" could be an Anderson song, albeit one grafted in a Frankenstein fashion upon a fuzzy, reanimated grunge/garage tune. Jacobsen dabbles in multi-tracked doo wop on "Only if I Get You," imaginary soundtracks on "Walking to Weston's," and Quintron meets Bruce Haack organ and drum antics on "The Multiplier," and he continues with these eclectic jumps for the entirety of Forms and Follies. If musical ambitiousness were not enough, there's a weighty flipbook included with two vignettes of the Organist in action. For any ear deadened by the sameness of other artists' pop insensibilities, Forms and Follies is highly recommended -- as is all of the Lonesome Organist's output.

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