Phil Whiteley is an Australian musician, guitarist and composer. He has recorded and released three albums, pertinently titled, “One”, “Two” and “Three”. This latter release is an incredible album that was so much better than I expected. The album is an interesting mix of music, between electronica elements, pure pop, some alternative rock, and funk influenced numbers. There’s something that will appeal to most people here, especially if you have a taste for retro sounds, because there’s something nostalgic about Phil Whiteley’s sound, and it has a common denominator for all music lovers – melody, in bucket loads.
After listening to the album multiple times before writing this review I can proudly say it was well worth the wait. With the combination of Phil’s voice, lyrics, and instruments blending all seamlessly together this is a perfect example of popular music art that transcends trends, age and genres.
Bottom line: a very enjoyable album for anyone with an open mind. Girlfriends, boyfriends, single people, married people, old, young, male, female. Phil Whiteley’s hooks them all, and he does so from track one, the brass and piano-driven “Connect”.
To prove he does not stand by any one style of music, Phil switches up into an urgent and edgy alternative beat on “Civilized Man”. And then he steps right back down into a elegant, almost loungy arrangement on “Got Nothin”.
To be able to express so much artistic influence with a strong touch of personal uniqueness, all within the space of three songs, is a solid attribute to any musician. You can sink into “I Can’t Breath” to such an extent you can’t even remember whether it is day or night.
It is really a fantastic song with some great drumming to match. “Let It Go” is a sweepingly beautiful piece of work to, with lyrics that haunt the mind as all good poetry should.
I’m not overly enthusiastic about the faster tempo tracks like “Gfu”, but that’s a personal thing, as I have a special affinity with slow-burners, besides I feel that Phil Whiteley’s vocal style is well suited to a slower song as he manages to extract all the emotion out of it – Exactly what he achieves on “No Love”, which does a balancing act between being a slow and mid-tempo song.
One of the reasons I enjoyed this album so much is because of Phil’s gift for storytelling, and if you aren’t thrilled with “Three” the first time through, I would suggest going back and listening to it from this vantage point. But don’t forget to listen to the final track, “What Would You Do”; I think it contains Phil’s best vocal performance on the entire EP.
It shows the strength and power of his delivery, as well as the gentle nuances he is capable of. This is my favorite track together with “Something’s Got To Give”, which has a great melody and arrangement.
“Three” is an amazing album with so many varied musical styles and voices that enchant and haunt. Phil Whiteley is always great throughout, as he works his song writing down to a fine science and is able to pump out a wealth of good material, demonstrating his ability to both satisfy and entangle his listeners with his creations.