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Jim White - Where It Hits You

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 27 / 2 / 2012

Jim White - Where It Hits You
Label: Loose Music
Format: CD


Imaginative and meticulously-arranged pop on latest album from offbeat New York-based singer-songwriter, Jim White

There are now so many people with minor chords, southern drawls and pedal steels that it can often be hard to pick out the truly brilliant songwriters. Luckily for Jim White, his bizarre life story means that he’ll always be easy to pick out from the pack. Before settling into an idiosyncratic career, that has seen him meander through blues, country, folk and pop, White was first a professional surfer and then a fashion model in Milan. (Or so his official biography says – can we be absolutely sure he hasn’t made those details up?) What we know for certain is that he began his recording career in 1997, having found a fan in David Byrne, who signed him to his Luaka Bop label. In that time, he collaborated with Aimee Mann and Barenaked Ladies. His albums sold pretty well, even though he never enjoyed much media attention. Perhaps because he’s always been most interested in making quirky, imaginative pop songs – rather than sticking monkishly to the limitations of a single fashionable genre. Now, on a new label, comes ‘Where It Hits You’. White apparently describes his albums as southern gothic, and most of his songs are hard-luck tales of heartbreak, generally delivered in a whisper or a mumble. For the most part, the words are simply the glue holding the song together. It’s the arrangements that make them worth listening to. White, apparently, likes to dabble in film making and his music seems to have similar motivations. He crafts gentle soundscapes, with subtle details and pretty embellishments. Just when you think he’s settled into a groove, out comes some whistling or a three-part harmony. If you like Ryan Adams, or Tom Waits, or early Wilco, you should probably buy this. Its beautifully played, and you’ll love the arrangements. A Sunday afternoon passes very pleasantly with it in the background. And then, as you listen more, individual songs pop out and become your new favourite. ‘Where It Hits You’ is an album you’ll not tire of.

Track Listing:-
1 Chase the Dark Away
2 Sunday's Refrain
3 The Way of Alone
4 State of Grace
5 Infinite Mind
6 What Rocks Will Never Know
7 Here We Go
8 My Brother's Keeper
9 That Wintered Blue Sky
10 Epilogue to a Marriage
11 Why It's Cool

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