White, Blue, Yellow and Clouds Introducing

White, Blue, Yellow and Clouds are the product of New York experimental musician Matt Bauder and a gaggle of Phil Spector, R&B and Brill Building enthusiasts. Introducing, their debut, kicks off with two absolutely blinding throwback renditions. "Moonlight” kicks off with an a cappella chorus before breaking into an impossibly catchy dance floor doo-wop dance number. The subsequent "Seeing Stars” tops even this auspicious beginning, appropriating Sam Cooke in its sublime chorus. Of course, Cooke’s incredible voice is untouchable by anyone’s standards, so it’s nice to hear Bauder refraining from trying to duplicate Cooke. Instead, it’s refreshing to hear him singing his heart out with that little reedy voice of his. It’s a fine moment, capturing that giddy euphoria of singing in front of a mirror, hairbrush in hand, an imagined big band punching through the gaps in verse with graceful horns. And that’s generally the feel of this album — it’s not so much a replication of a style as it is the living out of a karaoke fantasy. Bauder and his big band have the chops and the imagination to pull off this tribute without sounding hackneyed. They never quite scale the impressive heights of the first two tracks, with the exception of the lovely, bittersweet "Cheer Up In Your Sleep (Daydream Believer),” but here they’ve cleverly rendered their take on the innocence of sounds from a bygone era. (New Weatherman/Ferret)