21 Apr 2024
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Christine White - Single Review: Raven

14 Oct 2022 // A review by Trevor Faville

Christine White is an experienced and accomplished composer, with an impressive musical background. Raven is the first part of what is being described as a ‘multifaceted release’ called The Raven Project and is available on video and audio formats.

There is a lot to listen to in this song. White has invested considerable musical input into Raven, resulting in a sophistication that is apparent right from the off. There are many, many layers to explore.

A good starting point is the extremely fluent and musically sensitive bass and drum combo of Dan Antunovich and Steve Thomas, who add real character to this tune. A close listen to this aspect alone reveals sensitive and intelligent work from players who understand how to bring a tune to life, and have plainly been given musical license to do so.

The involvement of John Psathsas makes for an instrumentation that uses a wide palette of orchestral instruments with the high level of musical sensitivity and sophistication that one could realistically expect. Stylistically, There are hints of very early disco, with added influence of sixties - style TV and Movie composers added to some very ‘20th century’ timbres. Using musicians from Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra means that these parts are played with precision and feel. Throughout , this piece feels very ‘live’ in terms of the performances themselves.

As mentioned, there really is a lot to hear, here.

Over the top comes an assured vocal by White, which is absolutely in keeping with the qualities, style and depth of the arrangements. The melodic work has the same sophistication and detail-take a moment to consider how the backing vocals are arranged- that characterises the piece and develops to a satisfyingly majestic finale.

Structurally, this is a big piece, coming in at just over six and a half minutes. Old folks familiar with the early days of prog will know that in this context ,care is important. In Ravens’ case, White has cast a much wider net than the ‘alternating verse/chorus’ approach, to use the structural concepts from contexts like traditional Classical music where thematic material is presented and developed, and/or musical theatre, which uses a lyrical narrative as the key structural backbone. The clever touch comes in using the setting of an up tempo, genuinely funky groove - meaning that the changes in the song maintain something of an improvised feel .In this regard, Raven moves like a musical theatre ‘set piece’ (Cool from West Side Story springs to mind)- dynamic changes, lots of detail, and moving towards a satisfying and inevitable Big Finish.

As to lyrical content, the narrative element is apparent as a protagonist moves from one state to another - again reflecting perhaps more of a musical theatre approach, although White herself references more of a Poetic influence- citing the work of Joni Mitchell in particular.

Raven is a sophisticated, intelligent piece of music that is delivered with a musical sensitivity and assurance which means there are multiple rewards for multiple listeners. Its powerful musical statement of real depth..

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Christine White

The Raven Project, from Christine White, due for release on November 24th, began in March 2020 and is the result of 2 years work. The project release will culminate with 6 songs in digital and vinyl format (including a remix by esteemed electronic producer Paddy Free), accompanied by 3 music videos, and a book of short haiku-style poetry book in two languages (English & Farsi).

Christine White’s musical life began with extended family sing-alongs, and moved through the grandiose, evocative and purposeful melodies of the pentacostal Baptist movement, before visiting the raw, smoke-filled, beer-smelling couches of gay/lesbian festivals, hometown pubs and city cafes of 1990s New Zealand.

The harnessing of melody combined with a strong back-beat and the evocative twang of the electric guitar resulted in the Christine White band, an energetic three-piece that won the Gluepot Battle of the Bands and recorded both a single and never-to-be-released album at Revolver Studios, and gave a live to air performance through National Radio’s Helen Young Studio.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Christine White

Releases

Raven
Year: 2022
Type: Album
Pirouette
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Pure White
Year: 1999
Type: Album
Live At Helen Young Studio
Year: 1993
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Trevor Faville

Elmo Strauss - Album Review: In My Sleep
08 Dec 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Elmo Strauss began writing, recording and producing music in the format he describes as a ‘One Man Band’ since 2021, with the release of debut album Light and Dark. In My Sleep is his latest collection and is a logical follow on from the first album, in terms of the sound and the process.
Read More...
The Fuzzies - Album Review: Cupid
15 Nov 2023 // by Trevor Faville
The Fuzzies are a three-piece self-described ‘Alternative pop trio’ from Auckland. Collectively Niki Maera (Mary), Kelly Michael (Tabula Rasa, Enshrine) and Andrew Maitai (Powertool Records, Joed Out) bring the momentum of considerable experience into the music on this album.
Read More...
Claudia Robin Gunn - Album Review: Firefly
02 Oct 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Working in music education gives some insight into what challenging area that Children’s Music can be. The first essential consideration is simply coming to terms with the makeup of the audience, and knowing that children, whanau, and teachers are combined into particularly unique ‘demographic’.
Read More...
Hummucide - Album Review: Tides
18 Aug 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Hummucide are a well established group of musicians originally based in Wellington (although now working round the world) “Heavy Jazz” is the way they describe their sound, and that's an accurate phrase- and a rather nifty one, too. Tides is the group's first full length album release and it's the result of an extensive and extended process of crafting and refining.
Read More...
Tone6 - Single Review: Close Your Eyes
05 Jul 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Tone6 are a vocal group from Auckland, consisting of Kirita Leavasa , Selevasio Tu'ima, Peachez Vetenibua, Seletute Tu'ima, Viliami Tupa'i and Shaelyn Togafiti , who began working together when attending Saintzup Performing Arts School. The collective experience and ability of these singers belies their youth, and while Close Your Eyes is just their second release, it's a powerful and assured musical statement.
Read More...
Yann Le Dorré - Single Review: I Love You
09 Jun 2023 // by Trevor Faville
I Love You is the second solo release from Yann Le Dorre, formally a mainstay in the Poneke-based ‘gutter folk’ outfit Yolk. I Love You a follows a path described by previous release Missed as clear development from the work Le Dorre has done in Yolk- removed is the extra instrumentation in favour of a baritone voice set in a minimalist musical backing.
Read More...
Ivy - Single Review: Heartless
19 May 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Ivy are easily one of the more sonically ambitious bands that you can hear from Aotearoa New Zealand currently. Heartless is their latest work following on from last year's EP For The Sake of It, where it would not sound at all out of place.
Read More...
Valley Kids - Single Review: Otherside
10 May 2023 // by Trevor Faville
Poneke based Valley Kids have been drawing a career arc that continues upward from their first release in 2020, and with the support of NZ On Air the four piece have released their third single Otherside. Right from the opening guitar refrain, it's clear what an experienced and cohesive unit this is.
Read More...
View All Articles By Trevor Faville

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • TOO SWEET
    Hozier
  • BEAUTIFUL THINGS
    Benson Boone
  • LOSE CONTROL
    Teddy Swims
  • I LIKE THE WAY YOU KISS ME
    Artemas
  • SATURN
    SZA
  • STICK SEASON
    Noah Kahan
  • END OF BEGINNING
    Djo
  • LIKE THAT
    Future And Metro Boomin feat. Kendrick Lamar
  • ESPRESSO
    Sabrina Carpenter
  • WE CAN'T BE FRIENDS (WAIT FOR YOUR LOVE)
    Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem