Damien Jurado "On My Way To Absence" CD
There comes a time in every artist's career when he disconnects himself from the public. Fans, friends, critics, they'll all be left behind in the creative process; maybe for only a spell, maybe forevermore. When that break happens, it's both liberating and terrifying. With "On My Way To Absence", Damien Jurado has made such a break. He hung up the phone and left it lying there on the counter, and in the process has created a quintessential Jurado piece of work; a masterpiece by one of today's most incredible voices. Stripped of any inclination or genre-adopting (his past albums deliberately each wore a different cloak: "Waters Ave S" was pop, "Rehearsals For Departure" was folk-rock, "Ghost of David" was ambient-experimentalism, "I Break Chairs" was rock, and "Where Shall You Take Me?" was Americana), "On My Way To Absence" is the sound of Jurado and long-time collaborator Eric Fisher locked in a mental space for four months, periodically inviting friends (including Rosie Thomas, Crooked Fingers frontman Eric Bachman, and familiar faces Josh Golden, Seth Warren, David Broecker, Casey Foubert, and Andy Myers) in to contribute to the piece, but ultimately just the two of them immersed in the canvas. Stripped of a hope to please, Jurado journeyed inward and veered into darker and darker territory. "On My Way To Absence" has ultimately become what Jurado refers to as "a tribute to jealousy". It approaches a dangerous ledge and by the album's end, with the powerful "A Jealous Heart is a Heavy Heart", the listener is left somewhat dangling in a scary place. In the past, Jurado may have been concerned with leaving listeners in such a precarious position, but the beauty of "On My Way To Absence" is that it does not make such calculations.
For fans of: David Bazan, Bruce Springsteen, Elliott Smith