Thomas White – I Dream of Black

4 stars (out of 5)


Given only a white disc with a Thomas White sticker on it I was left to guess what this might be. It happily ran on a loop in my car for a week before I had to know. I assumed it was a portfolio of a composer trying to get work creating soundtracks for films. It plays like an artist’s sketchbook. Almost every song is a different style and many of the songs don’t have vocals. Despite this sketchy, demo like feel it’s really rather enjoyable. It’s calming but not so much in the way of background music. You’ll feel very aware of what you’re listening to but it’s not intrusive.

I’d be hard pressed to say what I Dream of Black reminds me of as a whole. There are hints of Simon and Garfunkel in the opening track but then the second track presents more of an updated 80’s new wave sound mixed with a pounding, industrial sounding beat. There are definitely hints of Garbage… How can I fully describe this album? …Sod it,

1. Simon & Garfunkel

2. Garbage, Talk, Talk

3. Radiohead, Eels

4. Muse,

5. Chronicles of Narnia

6. The Who, The Beatles

7. I’ll come back to this one

8. The Who, Lamb

9. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

10. The nicest little tune I think I’ve ever heard. It makes me feel nostalgic for a time I never knew and a musical I never saw. Wall-e would love it; up until the three minute mark anyway when the song winds away in to the distance in an electronic soundscape; such a nice end to an album. I’d recommend it for something to put on when you can’t sleep.

Despite my GROSS oversimplification of what this record holds it is extremely complex. Maybe that’s why I’m having so much trouble reviewing it. It’s a scary concept but something I’d like to see a lot more of. It’s not at all radio friendly but I really hope it finds the right crowd.

Oh, and track 7 is too rare a piece to sum up in one sentence. It starts off with clarinets and piano and sounds something like the soundtrack to a film noir before becoming something a lot darker and quickly turning in to something very sweet and reminiscent of Morcheeba.


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