Luke White – Outside In

A sweet and simple debut release, but one that lacks the requisite punch.

Released: 09/07/2012 on Strongwire Records

Outside In, the debut album from relative newcomer Luke White is a simple, stripped back affair that perfectly shows off the young singer-songwriter's pure and rather angelic vocals. It's these vocals that are White's strongest selling point, and he's clearly aware of this as the production (by White himself) is centred around these. Smart boy.

When an album is this stripped back, it's essential that the artist's lyrics stand up to scrutiny, which luckily for White, they mainly do. For the most part he thankfully avoids the pitfalls of romantic clichés without being overpoweringly metaphorical or peculiar. However, they do occasionally grate, such as on 'Maybe She Is Magic' and 'Made Of Love' - “Maybe she is magic, maybe she is from outer space” and “You move like you're made of love” just seem a little too clumsy.

There is an endearing naivety to White which is at odds with the rather grown up simplicity of the music itself. Beautiful piano refrains and mournful guitars weave themselves around White's delicate, often plaintive vocals, particularly on opening track 'Black Market Red Roses' and the bittersweet 'Waiting To Say Goodbye'. Each track veers between the gentle optimism of a romantic soul and the forlornness of a broken-hearted man, White never appearing remotely aggressive or hard-faced. You'll either want to give him a big cuddle or slap him and tell him to man up a bit, depending on your world view.

Outside In is a pleasant enough offering, but it's hard to see where White will go from here. There's a similarity to all his songs that makes the album itself flow rather nicely, yet compared with other young male singer-songwriters currently making a name for themselves out there, such as Jake Bugg, it's not enough to really excite. A solid debut, but one lacking in intrigue.

Turn On: Black Market Red Roses, She's A Dancer

Turn Off: Maybe She Is Magic

UnderSong Rating
6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆