Volume 2 – The Chris White Experience (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

If Volume 1 of this planned trilogy of albums did the groundwork for an exploration of Chris White‘s career in music, this middle panel of his musical Triptych features his work from the dissolution of The Zombies, the band that he will always be most closely associated with,  in 1976 to the present day. Again, it is a collection of unreleased and largely unheard songs from studio sessions across the years, and again it highlights the wide range of styles and the skilled musical prowess that Chris had at his disposal when writing songs. Of course this retrospective of rarities is going to be of great interest to fans of the Zombies and British power-pop in general, but such was his ability at turning his hand to all manner of music, the longevity of his career and, perhaps more importantly, his ability to move with the times, that this array of artistry will find favour with fans of music across a wide spectrum.

It opens up with the chipper and cheery Good Good Morning, the perfect blend of unexpected chord progressions and unforgettable sing-a-long inducing refrains, and the perfect tone with which to fire the opening salvo. Normal Heart is a slice of latin-grooved, smooth rock sass, sitting somewhere between the jazz-infused intricacies of Steely Dan and the more mainstream, watch rock aspirations of Toto, and Waiting For The Night To End feels like something that you could have sold to David Coverdale for any pice you chose to name!

And just as before it is some of the more understated songs which seem to be the most powerful, with the almost musical theatre vibes and gorgeous vocals of Bianca Kinane raising songs such as Eyes and How I Miss You from the ranks of piano ballad to more majestic musical climes. And if you are looking for something slightly more anthemic and infectious, Don’t Go Looking proves that he has that in his arsenal too.

This second chapter is the story of a man not content to rest on his laurels, that having been an integral part of one of the defining bands of British rock and pop history, Chris White knew that he still had so much more to offer. Much of that is out in the public eye…perhaps I should say public ear, but if you want to know the full story then this record, not to mention the two accompanying volumes which sit on either side of it, are a must have for any serious music fan.

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