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Madrid City in English
Tuesday 21st of November 2017
Russell Parton 1302 4th of February 2013 by editor 4th of February 2013
Matthew E White

Big Inner Hometapes

Matthew E White sports a sharp, white suit on the cover of his début album, but it’s the beard and mane combo that’s the bigger clue to its laid back, seventies sound. White has seemingly come out of nowhere, though has form as a jazzbo—he was once seen conducting the big band Fight the Big Bull—but with Big Inner the 29-year-old has made a gospel-pop record that’s one of the more intriguing offerings of the year so far. His voice is a relaxed mumble, recalling the meditative soft-rock of Bon Iver. Sonically, though, this is a cut above, with swelling strings more reminiscent of Randy Newman and somnolent slow grooves accompanying White’s soulful murmurings about the power of the Lord. Songs can involve as many as 30 people, with horns, strings and a hippie-gospel choir forming around White’s core. The obsessively detailed arrangements remain understated throughout, however, and when Big Inner does pick up steam, it does so with studied indolence, like in the slow-rolling outro of closing number “Brazos”, with the repeated phrase “Take it easy, baby”, that gently lulls your soul into submission.

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