Music Review: Transnormal Skiperoo

Jim White. Luaka Bop.

Named for what White calls the strange new sensation of feeling “good to be alive,” the mesmerizing Transnormal Skiperoo is a departure from his three previous albums of gothic Southern rock. But this moving account of his search for meaning is no exercise in sweet spirituality. Backed by the sure-handed roots band Ollabelle, White insists he’s “done turning diamonds into coal” and proclaims, “I’ll never fit in, so why should I try?” with his weary voice indicating that each good day is hard earned. And the delicate “Plywood Superman,” which recalls how his daddy “used to beat on me with his mind not his hands,” offers a chilling reminder that despair lurks nearby.