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Album Review: Whitley ‘Go Forth, Find Mammoth’

Whitley

Whitley is an Australian singer/songwriter (actual name: Lawrence Greenwood), and his new album ‘Go Forth, Find Mammoth’, has just been released. I know, funky name, isn’t it?

Whitely’s first album, ‘The Submarine’, generated a lot of buzz, and songs from it were featured in commercials, movies, TV shows, you name it. In its finest moments, ‘The Submarine’ was raw, acoustic, and beautiful. And although I haven’t seen him live yet, I’m told that this raw sound translated very well into his live performances, which sometimes featured only him and at other times a full backing band.

It comes as a slight surprise, then, that ‘Mammoth is very heavy on the production. Whitley’s sound, which previously was effortlessly layered and intricate, is now a little bit unnatural and blended. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Full power to artists who want to try new directions, and I know that even though I can listen to endless records involving nothing more than an acoustic guitar and a good voice, not everyone can.

So the big question then is does his new direction work? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, mostly. The standout track is ‘Head, First, Down’, where Whitley blends a driving drum beat with his more recognisable strums of an acoustic guitar and clear vocals, only to build up to a wonderful climax that comes dangerously close to ‘rock’.

I still miss the old Whitley a bit though, but I guess we’ve got plenty of acoustic folk singer/songwriters to keep us entertained, and he is quite within his rights to explore different sounds now he has established himself as a recognised artist. And I must admit I love the lyric “I’m screaming at a large, deaf monster” (‘Bright White Lights’).

I feel as if the overall concept of ‘Mammoth is fine, but it would be nice if it was condensed into a few songs that could be inserted into a record predominantly consisting of more ‘Submarine style tunes.

‘Mammal is without the gorgeous, shining moments that littered The Submarine, but it is a good followup record nonetheless.

Listen if you like: Tunng, Newton Faulkner, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

Album rated: 7/10

Artist: Whitley

Song: Head, First, Down

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