Composed as musical accompani-ment for an experimental theatre production based on the works of Sam Shepard, Sounds of the Americans is an understandably patchy, heterogeneous work, with jazz-guitar instrumentals, New Orleans brass band arrangements and a jaunty country number expressing pride in the renovation of a classic American car.
These are punctuated – and sometimes combined – with a series of quirky true-life stories culled by Jim White from local newspapers, religious tracts and diaries, reflecting the weird underbelly of the American interior: mysterious burglaries, eschatological mumbo-jumbo, adolescent emotions. The teenage-choir refrain to "Keep It Meaningful You All" could stand as the project's motto: "Me, I don't get used to things, I let things get used to me". Not White's best, but entertaining nonetheless.
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