ALBUM REVIEW: Rainbow Valley, by Matt Corby, Atlantic Records, Out Now
The public career shredder of reality TV music shows could have robbed the world of an original singer like Australian Matt Corby.
Fortunately for him, few European fans who hear his second album, Rainbow Valley, will have any idea of Corby's "big mistake" in entering Australian Idol 2007.
It took him nine years to find his groove with debut album, Telluric, and on the evidence of Rainbow Valley, any embarrassment from being "that dude from the TV" has long gone.
Rainbow Valley is a celebration of Corby's affinity with music for grown-ups, in particular, Burt Bacharach, Leonard Cohen, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding,
Corby shines on the album's exceptional tracks, No Ordinary Life and Elements which benefit from an impressive orchestration master-minded by the singer himself.
But there are also shades of George Michael and David Bowie on Get With the Times and the album's opening song, Light My Dart Up, respectively.
Nevertheless, the influence of rhythm and blues dominates Corby's sound, whether it is on All That I See, the slower All Fired Up, the Motown-geared New Day Coming of Miracle Love.
Strangely though, Corby charts his jazz, rhythm and blues, soul and roots blend down to his dad's collection of music by Cat Stevens, Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley.
Rainbow Valley is conclusive proof that Corby has left Australian Idol far, far behind.
Review by Winston Brown