2 Dec 2022

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


Year: 2022
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Trevor Faville

Dillastrate - Single Review: Taku Aroha
09 Sep 2022 // by Trevor Faville
Dillastrate is made up of drummer/vocalist Henare 'H' Kaa and Tim Driver who handles Keys/loops/vocals, adding MC Luis Mill for live work. This group comes with a background of considerable musical skill and experience and brings this all to bear with their latest single Taku Aroha.
Goldsmith Baynes - Single/Video Review: Hei Kawe i a Au
17 Aug 2022 // by Trevor Faville
Allana Goldsmith and Mark Baynes have worked together for a decade and form the creative heart of Goldsmith Baynes. They both have extensive experience in the international and local worlds of Jazz and have brought considerable skills and knowledge to this single Hei Kawe i a Au which is from their upcoming debut album E Rere Ra.
Nuggiez - Album Review: Toil In The Time of Monsters
09 Jun 2022 // by Trevor Faville
In something of a classic Punk tradition, the opening paragraph in the press release for this release begins with some social commentary, and a position statement- establishing Nuggiez’ attitude and intent before mentioning the band or its music, and if ever there is an appropriate introduction to this band, that would be it.Nuggiez are based in Tamaki Makaurau , and have been evolving the material for Toil In The Time of Monsters over a period of quite some time.
Kyla Greening - Single Review: Rich Girl
31 Mar 2022 // by Trevor Faville
Kyla Greening hails from Cambridge, and while Rich Girl is her first release as such, she is already known to many in the Waikato as an experienced performer and  very capable singer who is comfortable in range of music situations. Fair to say that for many it could be said that for many, this release has been keenly anticipated, Greening combines three key elements into Rich Girl - A thorough understanding of RnB/ Soul songwriting and arranging, sensitive and intelligent production/arrangements, and a sophisticated, melodic sensibility.
Ersha Island - Double Single Review: Good Day/Gut Feeling
09 Mar 2022 // by Trevor Faville
Ersha Island consists of Auckland based siblings Danielle Hao-Aickin (vocals and keys) and Tee Hao-Aickin (violin) both of whom bring extensive musical training and experience into this foray into a more contemporary genre. Quite a bit of press attention has already gone the way of this duo, and even a cursory read of this reveals two highly motivated women with a clear vision of what they are doing- in terms of both the musical intent and cultural perspective.
Dylan Storey - Single/Video Review: Foreign Sands
30 Nov 2021 // by Trevor Faville
Dylan Storey is based in Auckland and is the kind of musician who steadfastly treads his own path, be it as a contributing guitarist for the likes of Reb Fountain and Fleur Jack, or working in a variety of pro bands- as well as writing and releasing his own work. Storey maintains an impressive work rate and eclectic output.
Shivers - Single Review: Runaway
09 Jul 2021 // by Trevor Faville
This is the second release from Shivers since the group evolved in Wellington in 2018. Founders Adrian Win and Timmy Porter are at the heart of the sound, but Runaway involves a larger cast of contributors-notably drummer Rick Cranson.
Simon Hirst - Single Review: No Turning Back
13 May 2021 // by Trevor Faville
Hamilton Singer-songwriter Simon Hirst has released a new single No Turning Back. This is his first new material since the Feet of God collection from 2018.
View All Articles By Trevor Faville

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
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