Skip to main content

Album Reviews

Music > Album Review

Matthew E White
- Big Inner

This album is a glorious piece of work akin to falling down a kaleidoscopic rabbit hole and tumbling through decades of music refracted through a prism of psychedelic country soul.

Feb 1st 2013 | Label: Universal Sony Pictures
Seemingly emerging out of nowhere, Matthew E White's Big Inner is quickly spreading via word-of-mouth as one of the first great albums of 2013. Those accolades are well and truly deserved for a record that balances intimacy and grand gestures so well. The ideas are simple (love and religion) yet the prolific melodies and strength of composition make it sound like a new take on such well trawled subject matter.

White ostensibly set out to create an album that would showcase his Virginia recording studio and the cast of musicians that often played there. Big Inner will no doubt draw attention to his studio but White is the star here, conjuring up a set of songs that draw from prog-folk, country, soul, jazz and '60s R&B and funk. The results sound surprisingly fresh and vibrant, never once falling into retrograde nostalgia. Horns honk over swelling strings, piano, flute and didgeridoo all woven together while gospel choirs urge redemption and nimble basslines tumble deeply in the grooves. It is White's voice that creates the warm sense of intimacy that pervades the album. It isn't impressive in terms of the notes he hits or the range of emotion he conveys – the key is his tone – complete with wavers and the restrained pleading characteristic that singers like Stuart Staples (Tindersticks), Jason Pierce (Spiritualized) and Kurt Wagner (Lambchop) have mastered.

Big Inner culminates in the nine-minute gospel-psych of Brazos that travels a fairly straight route before opening out into an all-hands-on-deck musical love-in dedicated to Jesus that acts as a concluding exclamation point to the record. This album is a glorious piece of work akin to falling down a kaleidoscopic rabbit hole and tumbling through decades of music refracted through a prism of psychedelic country soul.


Related Articles

Live > Review

Matthew E White Sydney Opera House Lorin Reid

Matthew E White Sydney Opera House Lorin Reid

Poster IT

Connect with The Music

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter


<span>One Day</span><br />Enmore Theatre

One Day
Enmore Theatre

<span>Bad//Dreems</span><br />Newtown Social Club

Newtown Social Club

<span>King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard</span><br />The Workers Club

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
The Workers Club

<span>Justin Timberlake</span><br />Etihad Stadium

Justin Timberlake
Etihad Stadium

<span>Robbie Williams</span><br />Rod Laver Arena

Robbie Williams
Rod Laver Arena

<span>Angus & Julia Stone & Thebarton Theatre</span><br />

Angus & Julia Stone & Thebarton Theatre

<span>Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings</span><br />Odeon Theatre

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Odeon Theatre

<span>The Kite String Tangle</span><br />Manning Bar

The Kite String Tangle
Manning Bar

<span>Howling Bells</span><br />Howler

Howling Bells

this week's magazine

Digital Version
Airlie Beach Music Festival Australasian Worldwide Music Expo Beyond The Valley BIGSOUND Bleach Festival Blue Mountains Music Festival Blues At Bridgetown Bluesfest Brisbane Festival Brunswick Music Festival Bruthen Blues & Arts Festival Caloundra Music Festival Campfire Festival CoLAB Deni Blues & Roots Dungog Festival Earth Frequency Festival Fairbridge Folk Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Falls Festival Festival Of The Sun Follow The Sun Festival Gorgeous Festival Great Southern Blues Festival Gympie Music Muster HyperFest JamGrass Music Festival Jungle Love Music & Arts Festival Just For Laughs Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Listen Out Lost Paradise Manifest Melbourne Music Week Meredith Music Festival Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues MOFO Mullum Music Festival Nannup Music Festival Noosa Jazz Festival NYE On The Hill Originals Music Festival Out On The Weekend Outlet Music Festival OutsideIn Paradise Music Festival Poison City Weekender Port Fairy Folk Festival Queenscliff Music Festival Rainbow Serpent Festival Riverboats Music Festival Rottofest Soulfest Soulfest Soulfest Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Soundwave Southbound Splendour In The Grass Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Stereosonic Strawberry Fields Subsonic Sugar Mountain Festival Sydney Country Music Festival Sydney Fringe Festival Tamworth Country Music Festival The Blurst Of Times Festival The Hills Are Alive Toowoomba Carnival Of Flowers UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering Valley Fiesta WOMAdelaide Woodford Folk Festival Yours And Owls

The Music Store

Australasian Music Industry Directory
The ultimate print sourcebook for all the contacts…
Jun 18th 2014
Arts Advertising Packages
The Music Arts Packages provide promotion in The Music…
Jun 18th 2014
Indie Band Advertising Packages
The Music Indie Band Packages provide promotion in…
Jun 18th 2014
Galleon Krueger for Sale
Galleon Krueger Bass Amplifier. 1001RB As new, current…
Jul 12th 2014
Jazz guitarists wanted for weekend jams.
We are a bass and drums unit rehearsing in St Peters…
Jul 12th 2014
Premier Sydney Punk/Rock Band seeks Drummer
One of Sydneys Premier Punk Rock Bands seeks energetic…
Jun 18th 2014