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Jim White - Sounds of the Americans

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 9 / 6 / 2011

Jim White - Sounds of the Americans
Label: Loose Music
Format: CD


Eccentric, but ofetn impressive latest album from American singer-songwriter Jim White, which is the score to a drama school Sam Shepard play production

There has always been a cinematic feel to Jim White’s music – with his languid songwriting always coming adorned with arrangements that tend to offer a little more than the sum of their parts. It makes perfect sense, therefore, for White to provide the score to a stage production, 'The Americans', performed by students at the Juilliard Drama School, and based on the works of Sam Shepard. Kicking things off, ‘Speeding Motorcycle’ is a little rock ‘n’ roll ditty – a cover of a song by Daniel Johnson. A similar feeling of childish innocence appears again on ‘Keep It Meaningful to Me’, White this time conjuring up a tone of artless sincerity. ‘Rambler’, a tribute to the “the best car that has ever been made in the USA”, is a stand-out, conjuring up a wholly authentic tone of country and western, while White’s slightly dispassionate vocal remind me – oddly – of the Magnetic Fields. Elsewhere, during a number of spoken word tracks, White has fun playing around with a host of different sounds to deliver a variety of new ways to create eerie atmospheres and wistful moods. Much of these are mere curiosities, but there is just about enough to make this more than just an album for completists. The must-hear comes half way through. ‘Suckerz Promises’, with its growled vocal from Bryan Howard gives White the chance to do his best impression of Tom Waits’ bar room vaudeville. As the song gradually gets into a groove, the fact that this isn’t wholly original stops mattering, and when White’s accomplice Dan Nettles lets rip with his best White Stripes impression, we have something you’ll want to play over and over again.

Track Listing:-
1 Speeding Motorcycle
2 This Little Girl
3 Letter 1
4 Keep It Meaningful You All
5 Blink Of An Eye
6 Rambler
7 Kitty Litter
8 Suckerz Promises
9 Simulacrum
10 Esoteric Text Found In A Religious Garbage Can
11 Orphan Theme
12 Daisy Chains
13 Hunters Groove
14 But I Love You
15 Letter 2
16 Bluebird

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Where It Hits You (2012)
Imaginative and meticulously-arranged pop on latest album from offbeat New York-based singer-songwriter, Jim White
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