Big Inner - Matthew E. White
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Jan 22, 2013
    100
    For all the 40-year-old reference points, Big Inner never feels like a pastiche; it's audibly more than the sum of its influences, in the same manner as Lambchop's Nixon.
  2. Jan 22, 2013
    100
    Over seven elegant tracks, White and his musicians achieve the kinds of loveliness that Spiritualized, Lambchop, Cat Power and the Beta Band have tilted at, at different times in the past, and quite often missed.
  3. 90
    The music on Big Inner is so wondrous that it seems entirely obvious that we’ll always find that peace, joy and contentment in music rather than anywhere else.
  4. Feb 1, 2013
    90
    Overall, Matthew E White and his Spacebomb house band have created a brilliant debut, one that will undoubtedly have artists queueing up to be a part of this newly established project.
  5. Jan 22, 2013
    90
    He's made one of the great albums of modern Americana, and one suspects that a reluctant star is born.
  6. 90
    Big Inner is a brilliant debut, brimming with homages to pop music's past, whether it be Motown or Randy Newman.
  7. Aug 29, 2012
    90
    There were many musical spirits in the room when White and his Spacebomb band went to recording the seven farmhouse-soul spirituals found on Big Inner, but what ultimately renders this record truly special is the band's ability to synthesize all these elements into something that is uniquely their own.
  8. Aug 29, 2012
    81
    White's gift on Big Inner is taking sounds created by actual southerners and turning them into figments of his musical imagination, which he bends and shapes into bottomless columns of ethereal soul.
  9. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    A debut album of psychedelic gospel-tinged gems. [Mar 2013, p.94]
  10. 80
    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.
  11. Jan 24, 2013
    80
    Funneling psychedelic sounds through soulful gospel has long been a musical quest.... Matthew E. White's band have nailed the gig with their first experiment. [Feb 2013, p.106]
  12. 80
    White's own voice lacks the character to drive his songs, but Big Inner is a hugely impressive debut nonetheless.
  13. Aug 29, 2012
    80
    Instead of feeling like a testing ground for a series of wild experiments, White has crafted a collection of hushed character sketches worthy of Randy Newman or Bill Callahan.
  14. Aug 29, 2012
    76
    This is gospel-smacked, laidback music, tinseled by horns and strings and grounded in a big, big love.
  15. Aug 29, 2012
    70
    A dramatic pop-gospel record that hits extremes of the mood spectrum: very easygoing and very obsessive.
  16. Aug 29, 2012
    70
    It's sometimes silly but also undeniably soothing.
  17. Aug 29, 2012
    60
    Matthew E. White's Hometapes' debut, Big Inner, is as frustrating as it is cosmically transcendent.
User Score
tbd

No user score yet- Awaiting 1 more rating

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 1, 2013
    9
    Every once in a while an album arrives that no one saw coming, it arrives without fanfare and slowly grows to become a classic, Matthew E White’s ‘Big Inner’ is one of those albums. Seven glorious tracks that exist at the point where soul, Americana, R&B and gospel meet to form a record of such crafted beauty that even upon first listen it feels like an old friend. White has enlisted the house band from his collective/studio and added to them with a 10 piece orchestra and a twelve piece choir, the results are a stunning sun drenched collection that brings to mind The Band, Neil Young, Al Green and The Polyphonic Spree. White obviously has a vast knowledge of music and skilfully blends all his influences into the compositions, but it’s the music that wins out all rich and layered while his slight voice floats over the top like a summer breeze. Lyrically we are in familiar territory love, sex, religion, death, several songs even contain mantra-style repartition and with such deep subject matter it would be easy to fall into the morose if it wasn’t for the big band sound keeping you afloat. What White has done here is make a record that sounds new and fresh while at the same time borrows brilliantly from past masters and a long line of classic tradition, it’s in the place where these two things meet that we have found an amazing new talent. Full Review »
  2. Oct 7, 2012
    9
    After one listen to this album I was hooked. I just wished it was longer. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. H I G H L Y R E C O M M E N D E D! Full Review »