It’s not surprising that an album like this would be on a label founded by David Byrne. White and a collaboration of producers have constructed a redefinition of how we listen to stories, folk and country. But regardless of these musical roots, Jim White simply functions as himself, and lets his storytelling and eclectic music define itself.
No Such Place takes down-home storytelling to a new level by combining spacey slide guitars, gritty lyrics and atmospheric sound to create country music in the city. In “Corvair” the lyrics speak of emptiness and purposelessness in a metaphorical working man’s sense. But the music contrasts with the simplicity of the words and brings the track to a feeling of urban dissatisfaction and hopeless existence. He literally talks of murder and a lost childhood in “The Wound That Never Heals” and lets his strained, flat voice ask the obvious questions of anger and revenge. White doesn’t sugarcoat this new rendition of folk with sappy words and ambiguous themes, but leaves it up to the lyrics to carry the weight of these songs.
No Such Place is storytelling for the 21st century. It is folk, rock, blues, spoken word, anything. It is an album of everything and ends as a definition of Jim White.