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Old 03-24-2009, 07:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Jim White - The Wrong Eyed Jesus (Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted)

The Wrong Eyed Jesus (Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted)



Released in 1997 Jim White gave the world one of the most under appreciated of albums. Why? I am of the opinion that the fans of Rock music have, generally, a deep seated distaste for anything that has the term Country labelled to it. Again the question is why should they? Has not the greats such as Dylan, Young, The Rolling Stones just for example dabbled in Country and had wide acceptance? A new generation has decided that Cash is cool even though his Country roots are strong. I am of the opinion that covering NIN's Hurt did his cool cause no harm, excuse my cynicism, but to make out that Cash is fine and all other artists suspect is hypocritical elitism. I could go on.

This album has it's roots in the life experience of Jim White and that makes it's lyricism exceptional for that. This Americana artiste mixes his blend of Gothic lyricism with folk, country and rock sensibilities. He has had a full life from a heavy drug user in his youth, working as a model to a pro surfer. He had even had his share of religion. Religion dominates the lyrical spirit of this album. The front cover art has White caricatured with devil horns. The back cover has him reading a bible. Another picture has Jim resplendent in cowboy hat with halo. The booklet that comes with the album has a 13 pages story about The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted "Wrong-Eyed Jesus" A True Story. Needless to say it is a gothic read and Jim claims it is true.

The album offers 11 tracks that are perfectly seamless in presentation. From the first track Book Of Angels with it's slow meandering start we are given a huge hint as to the direction we will be taken with the first line

"Big ole car moving fast, watch the world go spinning by...
Little wheels inside my brain, God I wonder where Iím going..."

He may have wondered but he takes and tells us anyway. For example Still Waters tells us of Ghosts a the bedside, A Perfect Day Tells us of killer preachers, Stabbed In The Heart of love gone wrong.

What about the music? Have no doubt that White can write a tune around those lyrics. Soft melodic tunes with catchy chorus such as Burn The River Dry and Sleepy Town through to the hard edged Tom Waitesque style of Word Mule and Jesus Gets A Brand New Name. In fact a southern Waite is the best comparison I can make. This album is oddly weird but strangely fascinating. Is that a bad thing? No!
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This album is bloody superb. Although Jim's voice did take me by surprise at first, it fits snugly along with the rest of the music. Good call on the Tom Waits comparison too - it's definitely got that kind of off-kilter vibe about it.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Been listening to this nearly non-stop since you gave it to me yesterday Bulldog, the song "A Perfect Day To Chase Tornadoes" just left me speechless. It has been awhile since an album has had such a profound effect on me in such a short amount of time.
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