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Jim White

Where It Hits You (Yep Roc)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Jim White

Where It Hits You (Yep Roc)

Jim White works in shadows, a chiaroscuro of sound that stretches in intangible atmospherics expanding with unsettled pacing. The Athens, Ga.-based auteur has slid these prismed fractures across his brand of Southern gothic for 15 years, but his Yep Roc debut and sixth proper studio album plays more as an invocation of light against impenetrable darkness, signaled by haunted lead track "Chase the Dark Away." Recorded while his marriage was dissolving, the album strikes as cold consolation: "Sunday's Refrain" and "The Way of Alone" struggle for meaning in White's lingering phrasing, while "State of Grace" ambles a redemptive blues. The uptempo flares at the midpoint (wheezing bounce of "Infinite Mind," askew pop of "What Rocks Will Never Know," remixed funk of "Here We Go!") provide classic White curveballs in their uneasy urgency, settling back to a salvational and ethereal plane in "That Wintered Blue Sky" and crushing "Epilogue to a Marriage." (Thu., 11pm, Continental Club)

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