Stop yelling! I get it. I GET it! Jim White has roots! Jesus, does he have roots. He has more than roots, though. He has music in his soul, some of it folky, some jazzy, some somewhat dissonant, all of it pushing the envelope. I remember a handful of years ago a copy of his Wrong Eyed Jesus floating across my desk and into my CD player. I was impressed, but not as impressed as I am now. I would have to be a genius to be able to break this down so the layman could understand and I am not a genius— far from it, in fact.
I can tell you that White knows what he is doing, though. I can feel it if I can’t describe it. It’s like he takes all of the genres at his disposal and throws them in a pot, pulling up whichever is needed at the moment while letting the others lay the groundwork. When he’s done, he pushes that genre into the pot while pulling up another. For eleven songs he does it and at the end I am just as confused as when he started. It should not be this good. It defies category, on the whole, yet works so well.
Maybe certain music doesn’t need to be figured out. Maybe we’re overthinking things. Maybe we need to take a break and just let it waft over us. That’s what I want to do. I want to toss aside my reviewers cap and listen like I used to when I was young and music was everything. That is maybe the only way to listen to White. To really listen.
Like the Irish leanings on “Long Long Day”. Overlapping the old and the new. I know that it’s been done before, but not like this. Not that I’ve heard. And the cinematic opener, Drift Away”— a song begging for an off-the-wall movie and opening credits. I mean, what can I say about “Far Beyond the Spoken World”? I hear fifties on top, semi-cajun beneath, and harmony vocals I can’t get out of my head. Then there is the hillbilly-oriented “E.T. Bass At Last Finds the Woman of his Dreams”. It could be Country & Western but it’s not. Truth be told, I am not really sure what it is but if it’s anything, it is damn good.
Pay special attention to the production. Hardly a measure goes by that I don’t hear an unexpected left or right turn. Worth it for that alone.
How many albums has White recorded? A ton, according to his PR. Which tells me I have some catching up to do. I’m ready. Musicians like this don’t come around often enough.
Jim White. Waffles Triangles & Jesus. Zero-to-Sixty in eleven songs.