13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Southern Gothic Heart,
This review is from: Wrong-Eyed Jesus [Mysterious Tale Of How I Shouted] (Audio CD)
After a lot of years searching for the perfect sound, the one that captured in every facet my own very personalised image of America, I came across Jim White's debut album, 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' and I knew that I had found it. The album resonates with more than just the sound of the south but with echoes of its soul as well. Tales of love and lost love, abandonment, searching and redemption flow seamlessly through each track, the lyrics dripping with a home spun religious revivalism that wouldn't fail to grip a die hard atheist. That Jim White knows of what he speaks you never doubt, an act of faith at one with the tales of the same contained within.
The album fits perfectly into the 'Southern Gothic' niche, although is far more tuneful and melodic than most in that area. From the opening track Jim White reveals a delicacy of touch that makes the album a pleasure to listen to, and draws out the macabre darkness inherent in his lyrics to full effect because of this. While parallels can be drawn to writers like Harry Crews and artists like Tom Waits, White presents a far more palatable approach to tales of woe, softening the savage in favour of well drawn metaphors.
Despite its primary interest in the darker side of life, 'Wrong Eyed Jesus' mixes both pessimism and optimism in equal measure, 'Heaven of My Heart' and 'Angel-Land' never failing to raise a smile. All in all Jim White's debut offering is an album of slowly revealing mysterys, that captures the imagination as well as the soul, and takes the listener on a journey through 11 carefully crafted landscapes to a landscape all too familiar in its strangeness.