Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: Matt White “It's The Good Crazy”

Matt White seems destined to make musical history - his grandmother was the first female orchestra leader in the country and his great grandfather was responsible for giving Frank Sinatra his first violin. White is fixing to climb to a higher branch on the family tree to pop rock stardom, and his new sophomore releases, “It’s The Good Crazy” might just get him there.

The son of a psychiatrist, White has a deeper understanding over human nature than most, and this is reflected in his lyrics. Vocally, White’s voice is on the higher end of the spectrum, allowing him to effortlessly slip up into an angelic falsetto that he frequently puts to good use. His vocals are similar to Adam Levine (Maroon 5), but White lacks the high polished pop sheen, resulting in a more authentic and less processed sound. But the real standout talent is White’s ability to tap into our emotions through song, and his instrument of choice is usually the piano. The result is a superior collection of tunes that make you think as much as they make you feel.

Opening track, “And The Beat Goes On”, is by far and away the favorite for me, an ambitious crowd pleaser in the style of “Bennie and the Jets” - could be one of my favorite songs of the year. White quickly shows another side with his comparatively mellow single, “Falling In Love (With My Best Friend)”. The song is driven more by acoustic guitars, addressing a universal subject with finesse. Even tenderer is the chilling ballad, “Taking On Water”, which allows White to showcase the vulnerability in his vocals. Other highlights include the easy going groove of “Colorblind” and “Honeymoon Phase”, which sounds like it was written by Paul Simon. Be sure to stick around to the end, because “Sunshine” is another perky piano rocker - White doing what he does best.

“It's The Good Crazy” is not without its missteps. Despite a rousing vocal delivery, “She’s On Fire” does little to ignite the soul, and the quirky verses combined with the sustained falsetto in the chorus of “Off My Wall” wears on the ears. But all in all, this album is a very impressive effort. Fans of The Fray, Sara Bareilles, and Elton John…do yourself a favor and check out Matt White.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 11

Matt White on MySpace. Official site.

Listen to “And The Beat Goes On”

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