BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
If Waffles Triangles & Jesus seems a slightly odd name for Jim White’s new LP, consider the fact that his debut album was dubbed Wrong Eyed Jesus and that every effort since has been similarly skewed and difficult to discern. White’s not your typical Americana auteur, and indeed eccentricity and outright weirdness are the keynote elements in every outing he’s offered. One is best advised not to take him too literally, although given the unusually engaging sounds emitted on this latest opus, it’s hard not to feel at least somewhat engaged. Despite his obtuse observations, Waffles Triangles & Jesus is a remarkably coherent collection, mostly made up of archival sounding songs that ruminate through a gothic groove. The folksy ramble of opening track “Drift Away,” the jaunty ”Playing Guitars,” the hillbilly hijinks of “E.T’ Bass at Last Finds the Woman of His Dreams” and the lovely crescendo that marks “Sweet Bird of Mystery” are considerably more orthodox than any White’s worshipper has a right to expect. Likewise, his Celtic composition “Long Long Day,” with its whistles and rhythms, may be the most striking song White’s ever recorded. Consequently, he deserves credit not just for his perplexing perspective, but also for his ability to echo classic motifs and reconstruct them to fit his sly style. There’s no need then to furrow well below the surface; with Waffles Triangles & Jesus, White’s reconciled mischief with melody with exceptional results.
DOWNLOAD: “Playing Guitars,” “Long Long Day,” “Drift Away