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If you only buy one CD in 2004.....
on 29 March 2004
On the cover of Jim White’s latest album is the ghostly image of a man and a woman, faces close together, looking out from the shadows. The image recalls nothing so much as the art of the late Howard Finster, where fleeting yet ever present spirits flow in and out of this realm and another distant place and time, maybe even in and out of heaven itself. Like fellow southerner Finster, Jim White’s art is infused with the presence of God and Jesus, sin and redemption, but in White’s case, also with the beauty and mystery of love. In White’s world, love often comes with its cruel traveling companions, heartbreak and deep sorrow.
Several of the songs on “Drill a hole..” have been reworked into their current versions from having been played live in different incarnations over the last few years.
As with his previous two albums, this one can’t be neatly pegged into any particular genre, but somehow, the different styles of the songs fit together much like individual pieces of a mosaic, ultimately forming a beautiful picture.
Co-produced by Joe Henry, this CD has a more jazzy overall feel than “The wrong eyed Jesus” and “No such place”. “Combing my hair in a brand new style” and “Buzzards of love”, both showcase a mindblowing horn section unlike anything on White’s previous CDs, and while neither of these two is a short song by any means, both offer only a glimpse into the extended improvisations which might be possible if the band were unleashed on stage. The opening track, “Static on the radio”, with backing vocals by Aimee Mann, has an easy, laid back feel, is instantly accessible, and should be a hit on the radio if there were any justice in the world. “Bluebird” is a heartwrenchingly melancholic love song in which White tells of finding salvation in the eyes of his daughter. In "If Jesus drove a motor home” White gives us another installment of his humorous take on the Lord.
“Objects in motion” is one of the songs which has evolved through years of playing it live, and is given the dreamiest treatment of the different moods permeating the album.
Jim White is unquestionably one of the best singer/songwriters/storytellers working today, and this is a must have CD from a one of a kind musician who is just hitting his stride.