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(48:07; Bad Elephant Music)
Whitewater was formed in 2013 by Stuart Stephens (guitars, keyboards, bass, vocals) and Paul Powell (drums, percussion, programming) and here they have been joined by Mike Kershaw (vocals on 3 tracks), Gareth Cole (guitar on 4) and Clare Stephens (backing vocals on 1). This feels like an incredibly fractured album, as there are times when it is all comes together such as on the title cut which is an absolute delight, yet there are others where the drums are way too high in the mix and the vocals just don’t work at all. “Freefall” is monotonous, and I would much have rather heard this as an ambient/New Age instrumental without the vocals. The guitar solo on this song is just right, a nice amount of distortion and cut through without ever being a shred, so one wonders what might have happened if this number had been treated quite differently. I found myself thinking back to their last album, ‘Universal Medium’, which I enjoyed more as a whole, yet there are songs such as “Again” which are masterful. The vocals combined with piano and swirling keyboards are simply delightful, and if the whole album was like this then I know I would be raving over it far more than I am. The album is heavy on the atmospheric and laid back vibes, and there are undoubtedly some wonderful moments to be discovered, but overall this is one which needs to be played prior to purchase.
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