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Boomkat Product Review:
Having released the alt.folk 'Rehearsals For Departure' and the obtuse 'Postcards and Audio Letters' (a music free set of telephone conversations/answerphone messages etc.), you're never sure which Damien Jurado you're going to get on pressing play... 'On My Way To Absence' is, I can reveal, very much of the former school, taking it's musical blueprint from traditional Americana and underwiring it with a sturdy set of acoustic pop girders. Possessing a refined talent for juxtaposing the innocent with a more grown up outlook, 'On My Way To Absence' opens with 'White Center' wherein poignantly restrained backing wonderfully offsets Jurado's tale of after-hours bother, opining "heard they shot another, no-one knows the reason, it didn't make the papers, it's just another wild night here in White Center...". Very much of the Elliot Smith school of songwriting, Jurado does however differ from the 'Either/Or' template through the introduction of Rosie Thomas' duets ('Lottery'), resulting in a blanket of welcoming rectitude that isn't a million miles away from Smog. Refreshingly underplayed, Jurado may at times be about as innovative as the Crazy Frog (see 'Big Decision' and its heady string cocktail), but 'On My Way To Absence ' is breathtakingly beautiful nonetheless.