Review of Eg White's album Adventure Man released through Parlophone on 18th May 09.
You may not have heard the name but there's no way you won't have heard his work - Eg White is a silent star. He co-wrote two of the biggest songs of 2008; Adele's Chasing Pavements and Duffy's Warwick Avenue. He has also written songs for the likes of Take That, James Morrison, James Blunt, Kylie and Pink - the list is endless. He has even won an Ivor Novello (Best song in 2004) for Will Young's Leave Right Now. But Adventure Man is something a bit different, this is his solo album.
It's not the instantly listenable material that you might expect. In fact the opener, But California is a slow and frankly uninspiring start to the album. If you push on there are glimmers of hope; the bouncy, upbeat pace of Pay Later hides its brilliantly cutting lyrics 'desperate times call for desperate measures, don't want to be a tw*t forever'. Broken is also an example of where it does work; strong, beautiful and heartfelt vocals over piano and soft rhythmic percussion. Pull Me Through again sees White's vocals and lyrics perfectly matched, but these examples of brilliance are only really appreciated on repeated listening.
Adventure Man does show flashes of White's creative genius but it isn't an easily accessible album. So you can't help but wonder if it is more of a self indulgent experiment than a credible record, its unlikely that any of these tracks will find him the success he's used to when writing for other artists.