Wrong-Eyed Jesus! Original recording reissued
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Top Customer Reviews
His C.V (if we can beleive it) only add to the mystic. With stints as a grave digger, preacher, truck driver he's had the sort of life affirming experiences that recall the lives of Jack Keroac or Woody Guthrie. It should come as no surprise that this, his debut album, is an ecletic mix.
Bracketed within the new AMERICANA/ALT COUNTRY movement White has no qualms utilizing many forms of music to create his narrative led slices of twisted rustic life. WRONG EYED JESUS, as the title suggests, is a rich tapesty woven with intense imagery; and like a David Lynch film much of the narrative is both bizarre and surreal. Welcome to a world of murdering preachers, suicide and incest, ghosts and angels.
White wroughts these vignettes in the Southern tradition utilising banjo and pedal steel, harmonica and accordion to create a home-spun yet refreshing musical tableau.
Who can resist "Stabbed In The Heart" a tale of a spurned lover dying alone in the woods or the epic "A Perfect Day To Chase Tornados" with its crazed Holyman.
White is also not afraid to experiment as the frenetic "Wordmule" shows which he aptly dubs "hick-hop", or the energetic foot stomper "When Jesus Gets A Brand New Name" with his marvelous down-in-the-boots vocal growl.
But the greatest moments are the quietest. "Still Waters" is a haunting lullaby, whilst "Heaven Of My Heart" is a breezy affirmation of love.Read more ›
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.
If you like Americana and, especially, Jim Jarmusch films my guess is that you'll like this too. Some songs are twee & clunky but "a perfect day to chase tornados" is an instant classic. Have been experimenting with new American music for a while now (Willard Grant, Josh Ritter, Grant Lee Phillips) but I think I've found what I was looking for in Jim White.
Burn the River Dry has a fantastic tempo, with a stabby drum part which seems to always lag behind some lovely finger work on the guitar.
The haphazard nature of the rhythm, which works to lovely effect, is exemplified in track 3, Still Waters. Jim White’s voice accompanies itself with in a whispered tone, which adds to a real feeling of eeriness, as does Jim White’s vocal work at the lowest end of his vocal limit in the chorus.
When Jesus Gets a Brand New Name smacks of Tom Waits, with similar bizarre lyrical material and instrument use (such as the organ for the chirping crickets, which is quite inspired). Random, but as a fan of Tom Waits I find it a welcome addition.
Sleepy Town reminds me of getting in to Flagstaff, Arizona, just as the sun was rising, which means this song is doing something right. Jim White adopts a strangely childlike lyrical perspective and voice for this song, which makes the whole song feel innocent and summery (especially when he talks about pouring whiskey into the honeycomb and watching the bees fly away, which I think is a great image). Aided by lovely female vocals, as with many of the songs.
A Perfect Day to Chase Tornados, switches on the button marked ‘atmosphere’ once again. Dark and emotive, it’s a compelling little song which makes good use of the murder and religion theme which is so often used in this kind of folk Americana.
Perhaps the rockiest of the songs, Wordmule seems a little out of place for me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought this album must be Jim's best -until I heard the others. They are all superb - though this one has the incredible 'World Mule' on it - which matches Beefhearts 'Big... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Stephen W. Elkington
Jim White does it for me,a little off centre,but right on the spot.Great lyrics and tunes,keeps me laughing when times are tough and the whole world is "wrong". Read morePublished 21 months ago by js mckay
This album is a real treat from start to finish. The opening track, Book of Angels, is suitably atmospheric, with an instant feeling that the production value is higher than that... Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2006 by Moses Stevens