John White - Self Titled [Last Visible Dog Records - 2007]John White is a singer- songwriter original from New Zeland but seemly poping up all over the world these days, this collection of tracks offer up tuneful, sometimes quirky, somes sad song craft that dips down in a mix of folk, stripped indie & ramshackle pop with brief forays into more experimental waters.
Whites voice I guess is akin to a more pained Nick Drake, distinctive yet tuneful carrying the clever rhyming couplets and side-line into more fantasy paced subject matter very nicely over the acoustic strum thats layered with organ purr and other instrumental colours here and there too. With every song been enjoyable(if not that original) the seventeen tracks on offer here really do warm to you after a few plays.
But the real highlight and diamond in the pile of semi-precious songs is the the rather un-imaginative titled instrumental that tops the album off, With near on half an hour of emotional, enchanting and breath-taking guitar ambient/drone craft.It comes off like an extended version of one of Vincent Gallo soundtrack picecs. The track is rife with lonely beauty, pained emotional and a really haunting quality, as white sails his wounded, tuneful guitar on and on you really don’t want it to end. With only one minor sonic deviation towards the end that doesn’t quite gel- this is a near prefect track
So in summing up an enjoyable collection of tuneful singer-songwriter tunes that finished off with a breathing taking and emotional charged excise in mood setting and engulfing atmosphere making. Lets hope that White decides to go fully overboard into this territory for an whole album on day soon.Roger Batty