Matthew E. White – Big Inner

Every once in a while an album arrives that no one saw coming, it arrives without fanfare and slowly grows to become a classic, Matthew E. White’s ‘Big Inner’ is one of those albums. Seven glorious tracks that exist at the point where soul, Americana, R&B and gospel meet to form a record of such crafted beauty that even upon first listen it feels like an old friend. White has enlisted the house band from his collective/studio and added to them with a 10 piece orchestra and a twelve piece choir, the results are a stunning sun drenched collection that brings to mind The Band, Neil Young, Al Green and The Polyphonic Spree. White obviously has a vast knowledge of music and skilfully blends all his influences into the compositions, but it’s the music that wins out all rich and layered while his slight voice floats over the top like a summer breeze. Lyrically we are in familiar territory love, sex, religion, death, several songs even contain mantra-style repartition and with such deep subject matter it would be easy to fall into the morose if it wasn’t for the big band sound keeping you afloat. What White has done here is make a record that sounds new and fresh while at the same time borrows brilliantly from past masters and a long line of classic tradition, it’s in the place where these two things meet that we have found an amazing new talent.

Big Inner

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