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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matthew E White - Blue Eyed Soul
For those of you who have been longing for that type of experimentation, which Lampchop majored upon in their greatest album "Nixon" (2000) then your search is complete. On this new album "Big Inner", out of the corner of some dark studio emerges 29 year musician Matthew E White who takes country, soul and R&B and serves them up in a big old stew which Kurt Wagner would...
Published 21 months ago by Red on Black

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing vocals
i nearly really like this album,its genre and style are right up my street,but,and a big but for me is his vocals,much too mumbly and low fi,his voice only suits a few of the songs here,mostly though i am left wishing he had a better voice,one that can sing instead of talk/hum.
Published 8 months ago by trichromer


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matthew E White - Blue Eyed Soul, 6 Jan 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Big Inner (MP3 Download)
For those of you who have been longing for that type of experimentation, which Lampchop majored upon in their greatest album "Nixon" (2000) then your search is complete. On this new album "Big Inner", out of the corner of some dark studio emerges 29 year musician Matthew E White who takes country, soul and R&B and serves them up in a big old stew which Kurt Wagner would warmly applaud. He uses the label "Blue Eyed Soul" and it is an intoxicating confection of sweet sounds and farm house spirituals played a big musical collective of musicians straining like greyhounds at the start to get going. White is a session musician by trade but more than this he has his own Spacebomb Records imprint and intends to use this with vision. Thus he harks back to the days of Stax records, has a recording studio in Richmond Virginia and a house band, with the idea being that artists signed to Spacebomb will utilise all these musical facilities including the session players on the spot.

On the evidence of "Big Inner" he has chosen his musical comrades, including a full horn and string section, with real care. They produce an album which has first class honours written all over it. It includes seven tracks all anchored by White's soulful almost spoken vocal and the sort of backdrop which labels like Stax and the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama used to patent. Opener "One of these days" sets a groove with a big rolling bass to provide the architecture but is never showy or booming. It relies on the growing rumble of horns, the interjection of the an occasional soulful guitar and White's slowly unfolding vocal teasing the song to its almost Southern gospel conclusion. Indeed religion is present on this album and clearly if it was good enough for Otis Redding then its good enough for White (who in turn must have borrowed that white suit on the cover from Eric Clapton's wardrobe circa 1973?) Next up the brilliant standout "Big love" alternatively is pure funk with a piano so wicked it should be exorcised. "Will you love me" references the melody of Joe South's "Games people play" with part of the lyric of Jimmy Cliff's "Too many rivers to cross". It will plant itself in your head like Japanese Knotweed and refuse to budge. It is a much more poignant ballad which follows in the shape of "Gone Away" where almost Randy Newman style hymn emerges, dedicated to the death of one of White's cousins. That said if there is a problem with the album it is that it rarely touches the Richter scale in terms of excitement and on this track the languid spell woven by White becomes wearing on the repeated spiritual refrain that closes the song. Much better is the Allen Toussaint shuffle of "Steady Pace" and the far more robust rootsy ballad "Hot Toddies" which ends with a throbbing jazzy rhythm workout.

The whole kit and caboodle is rounded off with the nearly 10 minute long "Brazos" that builds to a big funky ending, is imbued with overt religious imagery and encapsulates the many great elements of the album but also the odd tendency towards repetition. Whatever the case Matthew E White and Co have built an impressive soul mash up on "Big Inner" which harks back to the glory days of great American labels but throws in enough modernity to be highly engaging. Ultimately this is a gentle, subdued and fetching album by consummate musicians plying their songs with an underpinning ethic firmly located within the old school of mastering a musical trade with impeccable technique and expanding upon it. The "Big Inner" takes its soul stew and delivers on all the ingredients.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matthew E White - Blue Eyed Soul, 20 May 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
For those of you who have been longing for that type of experimentation, which Lampchop majored upon in their greatest album "Nixon" (2000) then your search is complete. On this new album "Big Inner", out of the corner of some dark studio emerges 29 year musician Matthew E White who takes country, soul and R&B and serves them up in a big old stew which Kurt Wagner would warmly applaud. He uses the label "Blue Eyed Soul" and it is an intoxicating confection of sweet sounds and farm house spirituals played a big musical collective of musicians straining like greyhounds at the start to get going. White is a session musician by trade but more than this he has his own Spacebomb Records imprint and intends to use this with vision. Thus he harks back to the days of Stax records, has a recording studio in Richmond Virginia and a house band, with the idea being that artists signed to Spacebomb will utilise all these musical facilities including the session players on the spot.

On the evidence of "Big Inner" he has chosen his musical comrades, including a full horn and string section, with real care. They produce an album which has first class honours written all over it. It includes seven tracks all anchored by White's soulful almost spoken vocal and the sort of backdrop which labels like Stax and the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama used to patent. Opener "One of these days" sets a groove with a big rolling bass to provide the architecture but is never showy or booming. It relies on the growing rumble of horns, the interjection of the an occasional soulful guitar and White's slowly unfolding vocal teasing the song to its almost Southern gospel conclusion. Indeed religion is present on this album and clearly if it was good enough for Otis Redding then its good enough for White (who in turn must have borrowed that white suit on the cover from Eric Clapton's wardrobe circa 1973?) Next up the brilliant standout "Big love" alternatively is pure funk with a piano so wicked it should be exorcised. "Will you love me" references the melody of Joe South's "Games people play" with part of the lyric of Jimmy Cliff's "Too many rivers to cross". It will plant itself in your head like Japanese Knotweed and refuse to budge. It is a much more poignant ballad which follows in the shape of "Gone Away" where almost Randy Newman style hymn emerges, dedicated to the death of one of White's cousins. That said if there is a problem with the album it is that it rarely touches the Richter scale in terms of excitement and on this track the languid spell woven by White becomes wearing on the repeated spiritual refrain that closes the song. Much better is the Allen Toussaint shuffle of "Steady Pace" and the far more robust rootsy ballad "Hot Toddies" which ends with a throbbing jazzy rhythm workout.

The whole kit and caboodle is rounded off with the nearly 10 minute long "Brazos" that builds to a big funky ending, is imbued with overt religious imagery and encapsulates the many great elements of the album but also the odd tendency towards repetition. Whatever the case Matthew E White and Co have built an impressive soul mash up on "Big Inner" which harks back to the glory days of great American labels but throws in enough modernity to be highly engaging. Ultimately this is a gentle, subdued and fetching album by consummate musicians plying their songs with an underpinning ethic firmly located within the old school of mastering a musical trade with impeccable technique and expanding upon it. The "Big Inner" takes its soul stew and delivers on all the ingredients.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Big Inner (MP3 Download)
I am loving it! It's such a great mix of different types of music, but all the while very modern. Amazing songs, brilliant performance - defs a fave of the year so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My album of 2013 so far..., 2 May 2013
By 
Mr. T. Ford - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
Did you ever here about that great lost album from 1971? It is so obscure that even critics and publications have never mentioned it. They simply didn't know about it. But how could they NOT know about it? It was recorded by a super group featuring The Band, Curtis Mayfield, Harry Nilsson and The Staple Singers. They called it Big Inner and just to deceive everyone still further, they put a big hairy white guy on the front cover and pretended his name was Matthew E. White. Crazy huh.

Seriously though, this album has all those elements and more in the stew. It is at once uplifting and gentle, funky and beautiful, soulful and jazzy and everything in between. It's not too short, it's not too long. It's just right.

Well done Matthew E White.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Love to Mr White, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: Big Inner [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is not an album that offers quick and easy thrills. You need to spend time with it, picking away at the layers in order to marvel at it's immaculate construction. The arrangements offered by Matthew E.White and his band are just perfect. Measured and assured, this is a debut album that will surely be canonized in the magazine polls of the future!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Played it again & again, 15 April 2013
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This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
Best album I have heard in years. I listened to it like a child - over and over all weekend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising, 21 Feb 2013
This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
I love this album so much - it just gets under your skin after the first play. Beautifully crafted, delicately layered songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Matthew finds his 'Big Inner'., 19 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
Mr White's debut is a cross section of all things great in music; lush strings, rising horns, gospel tinges and some wonderful arranging, guitar work and of course the voice. Many influences to these ears ranging from trippy country soul/R n B/Curtis Mayfield to Madchester/Primal Scream lovelyness! Only seven tracks, but a deep, full and spiritual album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted with this purchase, 1 Feb 2013
This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
I bought the album on the strength of glowing reviews on both the Uncut and Pitchfork websites, admittedly that can sometimes be risky. From there I checked him out on the net and really liked what I heard, so ordered it just over a week ago and haven't stop playing it.

It's great from start to stop, 'Will You Love Me' is really infectious, beautiful. Being Scottish and seeing a track titled 'Hot Toddies' made me smile, and hearing the track made me smile even more. Then finishing a relatively short album with a fantastic 9 minute track 'Brazos' was just the ticket.

The album for me is perfect, musicians of the past spring to mind when I listen to the album which I'll not name, as I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of Matthew E. White in the years to come.

Ignore the "review/rant" from Nigel Wooliscroft who gave it one star, it couldn't be further from the truth. It's baseless trolling at it's worst.

P.S - I'm still listening to this album which I've had for over a month and reckon it'll be my album of the year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steady Pace, 28 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Big Inner (Audio CD)
Stick with this album, give it 5 or 6 listens, and you start to realise why Matthew White and this album is receiving great reviews everywhere.
The reviews reference Muscle Shoals, Southern Funk, Curtis soul, and on first listen you may expect this album to jump out and grab you, but it's alot more subtle and rewarding than that.
After the 3rd or 4th listen you begin to hear the horns more, the amazing string arrangements come to the fore, and the groove is always there, just under the surface.
6th listen it's on constant repeat, and you are in, it's a keeper.
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Big Inner
Big Inner by Matthew E. White
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