Home Read Classic Album Review: Jim White | No Such Place

Classic Album Review: Jim White | No Such Place

The oddball alt-folkie’s twisted narratives are equally disturbing and entertaining.


This came out in 2001 — or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


“I’m handcuffed to a fence in Mississippi.” It’s not very often a singer introduces his album with words as compelling as those. Then, there aren’t a lot of folks out there like Jim White.

Scion of a military family, product of a Pentecostal community in Florida, possessor of a mangled left hand thanks to a table-saw mishap on the job, White is something between a backwoods Beck and a Tom Waits for the trailer-park set — an oddball alt-folkie who combines twangy guitar licks, tangy southern gothic lyrics and rangy white-boy hip-hop into twisted little narratives that are equal parts disturbing and entertaining. White’s secret weapons, however, are his vocals, which are surprisingly sweet and soulful — even when he’s singing about God on a bender, honeymoon killers and bloodstains in the Greyhound station. And especially when he’s telling us that “nothing’s prettier than a pretty girl … digging a heart-shaped hole in the ground.” Maybe somebody oughta check to see those cuffs are tight enough.