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Forms and Follies

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews

Amazingly Unique!

Magical and full of texture. If you are looking for something off the beaten path, check this out. It has a strange yet powerful soundtrack feel. One of my favorites.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The Chicago musician Jeremy Jacobsen, better known as the Lonesome Organist, is a true one-man band. His simultaneous proficiency with a wide variety of instruments -- including the organ, drums, guitar, harmonica, toy piano, tap-shoes, and steel drum -- makes his music suitable for a variety hour or a circus show as well as a rock album. Never lacking in novelty, the Lonesome Organist mixed styles such as rock, yodeling, blues, circus music, and soundtrack music on his records. On his 1997 album,...
Full Bio
Forms and Follies, The Lonesome Organist
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