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Jim White

Transnormal Skiperoo
Luaka Bop

Like a Zen cowboy hobo, Jim White seems to have his finger on many pulses at once: One part backwoods hermit, one part Buddhist sage and two parts boxcar troubadour, the singer-songwriter makes music that is simultaneously heartbroken, lonely and perfectly content. The name of his latest release is White's own neologism for that inexplicable feeling of goodwill, gratitude and happiness that occasionally overtakes even the most troubled soul — and the music here beautifully captures that very experience, along with the intense doubt, melancholy and introspection that precede and follow it. Spry tracks such as "A Town Called Amen" and "Crash Into the Sun" cover the former, while "Fruit of the Vine" and "Diamonds to Coal" tackle the latter. With the exception of the self-consciously goofy "Turquoise House," White consistently hits his mark with songs that evoke wistful smiles and even more wistful tears.

 
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