The new collaborative release, Gentlewoman, Ruby Man, by Flo Morrissey and Matthew E. White is one that is not easy to classify. The pair draw from styles as vast as the world we live in; it is an eclectic blend of the American stylings of Matthew E. White and the English indie vibes of Flo Morrissey.
Look At What The Light Did Now, the opening track, welcomes you with a warm familiar acoustic sound in a simple folk pop feel. By the third track, Looking For You, Morrissey and White have broken that familiar soulful sound with driving synth-scapes. White’s influences by the likes of Brian Wilson’s psychedelia and Quincy Jones are apparent in the lounge-chill feel of Everyone Loves The Sunshine. This track is certainly a personal favourite for its interplay of musical motifs and minimal lyrical content.
Suzanne seems to take a darker turn musically compared to the rest of the album and is reminiscent of the song writing style of the late Leonard Cohen. The production on this track stands out to me as there are subtle elements at play that might take several listens to fully appreciate. White takes the lead vocal part in this one and his subdued vocals compliment Flo’s supporting ethereal vocal part. Throughout the album, the duo produce a satisfying blend of their voices regardless of who’s front and centre.
Morrissey and White cover Grease and I’m certain they had fun recording this contemporary rendition of the hit, but it seems somewhat out of place in this collection of songs. The album ends with another, highly enjoyable, well executed but seemingly misfit fusion track, Govindam, a chant to Lord Krishna. The start and the end of this album are worlds apart.
Gentlewoman, Ruby Man is a genre melting listening experience. At the very end of the album you hear Flo whisper ‘I like that’. Well, I like it too .