White is a man with a unique take on the world
Many have tried to recreate the vibrancy and laidback groove of vintage soul-pop, but to absolutely nail it you need to be someone truly cosmic. Amy Winehouse just about managed it, and Matthew E White is one other such person, whose splendiferous seven-track beast has finally arrived in the UK. Born in Virginia Beach and raised in Manila by missionary parents, White – who bears an uncanny resemblance to hippy scientist Professor Denzil Dexter from The Fast Show – is a man with a unique take on the world. The song ‘Big Love’, with its bass groove, honky-tonk piano and quite possibly real celestial choir of angels, is the standout track, though there’s not a moment of filler. Elsewhere the 29-year-old summons the spirit of his namesake Barry; the sweet soul of Isaac Hayes; and Randy Newman’s contribution to the great American songbook to create a profoundly pleasing melange.