steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Organ Donor

"midwest/Italia" CD

Bi-Fi Records

Genres: indie pop, indie rock, folk-pop

Bi-Fi Records
PO Box 1327
Ames, IA 50014

Mar 17 - 23 2003

An album like this can only be described as epic.  Now it ain't some drab prog rock opera or anything like that; in fact, it's a significantly short CD.  But that isn't the point.  midwest/Italia is epic because it runs through so many different emotions and feelings without ever losing its flow.  It's like a long journey - there are moments of sorrow and pain, there are moments of anger, and there are even rare, fleeting moments of happiness.

The different emotions involved are tackled well by Organ Donor, who uses a number of music genres in order to express the different moods.  You've got noisy indie rock ("Unfinished Business," "Love and War"), sparse folk ("Sweetie-Pie"), Will Oldham and Songs: Ohia styled sorrow-pop ("Caroline," "The Longest Drive"), space rock ("Frozen Lake/Stillborn," "Winter Song"), and even a Morissey cover ("I Know It's Over).  Altogether, this mixture produces a varied, effective album that proves Organ Donor mastermind (and only real member) Jeremy Grace's talent as both a musician and a songwriter.

But what is most important about midwest/Italia is that it's the type of album you keep in your CD player for weeks.  Because of its variety, you can listen to it over and over without getting tired of it.  In fact, it grows with age, becoming even more powerfully emotional over time.  So, two months down the line - when you've been dumped by your girl or boyfriend and you want something to accompany your suffering - you'll be able to pull midwest/Italia out, slap it in your stereo, curl into a little ball, and listen.  Sure, you'll be reduced to tears, but in this case, it isn't a bad thing.


Fun Fact: Organ Donor's website is like a labyrinth!  Check it out.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]