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Music Review: T.H. White – Company Book

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The kind of music T.H. White makes feels like what you would play in your head to get the adrenaline pumping before a hit or a score. It shouldn’t be all that surprising, then, that some of White’s work was featured on HBO’s The Sopranos.

White is quite literally a one-man show—arranging, performing programming, and producing—much to his recording delight. For his third LP, Company Book, he attempts to do more than simply recreate the pizazz of his previous albums, More Than Before (2005) and The Private Spotlight (2007), by pushing for a more naturally fused electronic sound.

T.H. WhiteIt’s only been a few years since The Sopranos went off the air, but even now it seems somewhat dated. Any track off Company Book, in fact, would seem inappropriate for the mob series, which White fittingly acknowledges on the opening track "Fantasy Pictures" with a repeating Method Man quote from the more contemporary drama The Wire ("There’s just the street and the game and what happen here today"). Although to be fair, I couldn’t see anything from Company Book on The Wire either.

"I work very hard on making the music sound as slick as possible—polish is a weapon that I use to seduce my listener," White explains (in a press release) that he tried to broaden the appeal of his music this time around, which incidentally resulted in a decidedly more urban-tinged mix. The rap and beats in "Rekognize Real" really do say it all.

Dancability and body movability are obvious themes, as well, with the electronic funk of "The Darkest Horse" (to which singer/actress Megan Wolf of Law & Order fame lends her voice) and "Five Hands On" providing the boost any Casanova-wannabe would need on a restless Saturday night.

Many artists tend to go overboard with electronic music. T.H. White, on the other hand, knows the bounds well, and this submission to the rules allows his music to shift the car into gear and go along for the ride rather than drive the car. Company Book doesn’t force the action and instead simply lets it happen on its own.

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