Matthew E White: Fresh Blood review – a delicious second helping

(Spacebomb/Domino)

When Matthew E White’s debut album, Big Inner, emerged unheralded in 2012, there was a sense of wonder that someone had emerged, seemingly fully musically formed, without anyone realising. But there was also a pleasing oddness about Big Inner: for all the obvious soul influences, the likes of Big Love and Brazos had a trancelike mood that was less Curtis Mayfield than Spiritualized. Its follow-up is a more straightforward affair, and – though still a delicious record – slightly less eye-opening. Memphis and Philly are the soul moods that dominate, and this time round White has added some singalong-ready choruses, notably on Feeling Good Is Good Enough: once someone starts rolling out the la-la-la-la-la codas, you suspect they’re picturing twilight festival crowds swaying in unison. There are depths, though: the emotional heart of the album, Tranquility, is a beautifully orchestrated meditation on the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, with a feedback guitar solo that resolves into a loping groove, as if death is the peace that follows turmoil.

Contributor

Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Matthew E White: Big Inner – review

Pop doesn't spring too many surprises these days, but Matthew E White's debut feels like a genuine revelation, says Alexis Petridis

Alexis Petridis

17, Jan, 2013 @3:30 PM

Matthew E White – review

White ditches the eerie horns and strings to bring his soul songs alive in an urgent, sweltering evening of country honk, writes Stevie Chick

Stevie Chick

24, Jan, 2013 @5:46 PM

Article image
Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White: Gentlewoman, Ruby Man review | Alexis Petridis's album of the week
On a wildly eclectic set of cover versions – everything from the Velvets to the Bee Gees – the duo warp the originals into something new, strange and wonderful

Alexis Petridis

05, Jan, 2017 @3:00 PM

Article image
Natalie Prass: Natalie Prass review – spellbinding country-soul
The American songwriter’s debut album has grandeur and sweetness to spare, writes Tim Jonze

Tim Jonze

22, Jan, 2015 @6:27 PM

Article image
Matthew E White: Fresh Blood review – does not disappoint
Matthew E White’s follow-up to Big Inner refines the Spacebomb MO

Kitty Empire

08, Mar, 2015 @8:00 AM

Article image
Flo Morrissey and Matthew E White: ‘Grease is a lot more than kitsch disco’
The duo’s album of lushly soulful covers, Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, is full of surprises – including the Bee Gees’ theme tune to the 1978 musical

Michael Hann

12, Jan, 2017 @4:42 PM

Article image
Matthew E White: Big Inner – review
Seven days – and a lifetime – in the making, Matthew E White's burnished country-soul-gospel debut is a masterpiece, writes Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

20, Jan, 2013 @12:04 AM

Article image
Domino bares its soul with Julia Holter and Matthew E White

Laura Snapes: One label is showing that being indie is about more than chasing guitar boys in tight trousers – art and devotion are the way to go

Laura Snapes

10, Jan, 2013 @2:02 PM

Article image
Matthew E White: 'You hear the community I love in the music'

Just who is Matthew E White, the US musician whose astonishing debut album seemed to arrive from nowhere? Michael Hann met him in London

Michael Hann

09, Feb, 2013 @7:00 PM

Article image
Five albums to try this week: Matthew E White, Pops Staples and more
Stream the best new music out this week, from Will Butler to Young Guv

Tshepo Mokoena

09, Mar, 2015 @10:32 AM