Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Terms like "alt.country" are far too prosaic to contain music which might equally be called post-bebop, spook-folk or ghoulish horror soundtrack.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    100
    White conjures lost souls drifting through a mythical nation of pawnshops and cheap motels, his voice a sensual whisper over their rattling bones. [9 Jul 2004, p.89]
  3. There's also the fact that you won't hear another record like it this year, possibly ever-- all the comparisons that can be made to Tom Waits, Lambchop, Grandaddy and Vic Chesnutt will only tell a small part of the story.
  4. Uncut
    80
    With its smoothing of rough edges, it's likely this record will split opinion, but there's much to admire for those--like its creator--willing to burrow. [May 2004, p.107]
  5. White seems to have turned a corner, taking his songs to places they haven't gone before.
  6. The thick veil of gloss that co-producers Joe Henry and Tucker Martine use to coat each of the 11 hypnotic tracks is entirely transparent, resulting in a glass-bottom boat ride that's both cathartic and uncomfortably voyeuristic.
  7. Mojo
    80
    A big wet dream of loss and isolation, sex and the search for grace. [May 2004, p.92]
  8. 80
    His mumbled burr recalls that half-awake state where reality melts, a strain of Southern Gothic best listened to at 3am with a half-empty bottle of bourbon and all the lights on.
  9. With the handicap of not having entered a studio until his forties, White still creates work that maintains a deft wisdom even in its worst choices.
  10. Filter
    78
    A pretty excellent, ramblin' effort. [#16, p.99]
  11. A retreat from overt tale-telling makes these songs less immediate and localized but potentially more personal, both for Jim and his listeners, as he strips away the surreality and specificity and renders his murky ruminations more universally resonant.
  12. Quite simply, Drill a Hole is White's distinctive, Panhandle-troubadour vocals performed over the jazzy, late-night tones of a Joe Henry-assembled band.
  13. A diverse and creative offering.
  14. This is a slower, mellower side of the singer-songwriter, and it suits his moody ruminations.
  15. Rolling Stone
    60
    White covers much the same ground... but it's a testament to his mastery of Southern-gothic atmosphere that his banjo, melodica and pedal steel musings on Jesus and haunted love never fail to raise goose bumps. [24 Jun 2004, p.177]
  16. Under The Radar
    60
    Isn't intense enough to demand listener attention, isn't wandering enough to be hypnotic, and isn't melodic enough to be immediate. [#7]
  17. Q Magazine
    40
    He's never that far from plunging towards obviousness. [Jun 2004, p.108]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. NickD
    Aug 23, 2004
    10
    I bought this on the back of hearing track two "Bluebird", thinking it was going to be this lush but ominous occasionally experimental folk I bought this on the back of hearing track two "Bluebird", thinking it was going to be this lush but ominous occasionally experimental folk album. Oh, how pleasantly wrong :D The Guardian's comments sum it um, White's got a penchant for the sounds of cool jazz through a modern spectrum of sounds. White's husky voice reads some fantastically raw and visceral lyrics, and all the guest spots are fine. Great tracks abound, like Static On The Radio, The Girl From Brownsville Texas and Phone Booth in Heaven, but the stark reality of hope/failure in the gorgeous Bluebird clinches it for me. Full Review »
  2. PaulF
    Aug 18, 2004
    7
    I bought this album in the deliema of buying an album that I was less informed about. In the long run I was dissapointed, expecting it to be I bought this album in the deliema of buying an album that I was less informed about. In the long run I was dissapointed, expecting it to be great after hearing the first track "Static On the Radio". The album is ominous at times and playful, in a novelty sort of way, at others. Overall it is not a bad album but I think it could of been better, with less effort. Full Review »
  3. NeilG
    Jun 30, 2004
    9
    This record defies the diminishing law of returns and reveals more inventiveness with each extra listen. Jim White shows signs of influences This record defies the diminishing law of returns and reveals more inventiveness with each extra listen. Jim White shows signs of influences throughout the course of this record but never at the expense of his own maverick imagination. Full Review »