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Album Review: Whitley – Even The Stars Are A Mess

Whitley

Stream lead single ‘My Heart Is Not A Machine’ below.

“It is not a mean world. It’s beautiful…”

The opening lines to Whitley’s 3rd Full Length ‘Even The Stars Are A Mess’ sums up the album before it has even begun. And trust me, that is a positive. The softly plucked guitars and distant ambience of ‘The Battle of Terrence McKenna’ slowly but sternly lure you into this album. And once you’re in you can’t get out.

After nearly a 4 year absence from the music scene it seems like the only person that didn’t have any expectations of the new Whitley album was the man behind it all, Lawrence Greenwood. He has transitioned back into this roll as if he had gone nowhere. Staying true to the beautiful melodies and haunting ambience that we’ve grown to love whilst showing maturation and progression in his song writing.

A perfect example of that last sentence is the albums lead single ‘My Heart Is Not A Machine’. With trembling guitars and male/female harmonies, ‘My Heart…’ shows a musician who not only has the willingness to grow but who also has the guts to expand his sound.

Album highlight ‘Final Words’, in my opinion, is Whitley’s greatest work to date. Starting out a capella and with 3 part harmonies that give Crosby, Stills and Nash a run for their money, ‘Final Words’ slowly creeps its way into your ear canals and with the help of ambient strings and a distant drum beat, has a way to make your heart beat in synch with the song. The ambiguity of the closing lyrics ‘…but I’m still hard on myself. But its not a dream, its just a dream, its not as it seems’ leaves your mind thinking, whilst also giving you a strange sense of hope.

Follow this up with the climbing organ of ‘Roadside’ and you’ve got yourself one of the best melodic 2 song combos I’ve heard on any album. Lyrically it seems to add even more hope to ‘Final Words’ as Lawrence proclaims “I’m alright now, I feel it in my bones now… I feel no fear now”.

I will leave it to Lawrence to sum up ‘Even The Stars Are A Mess’ from a quote he gave me in our interview after being asked what ‘slogan’ he’d use to promote this on Commercial Television… “Buy it if you’re sad and want to feel happy… no wait… shut the fuck up and stop watching television”

 

5/5

*Even The Stars Are A Mess is out on the 5th of July through Dew Process.

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