Monday 21 April 2008

Jamie Lidell - Jim

Jamie Lidell - Another Day

Jamie Lidell's 2005 album Multiply showcased his extraordinary voice together with music which combined old school soul and funk with more modern dance sounds. It was a Gonzalez remix of the title track with its simple piano accompaniment which showed the real strength: the voice. Jamie Lidell is a white guy from England who lives in Berlin and sounds like a combination of Stevie Wonder, Prince and Otis Redding. Marvellous.

New album Jim plays to these strengths opening with piano on the glorious Another Day before full backing comes in. Wait For Me bounces along with fantastic backing vocals and the soulful sound continues complete with handclapping chorus on Out Of My System. All I Wanna Do is a gorgeous, heartfelt ballad, Lidell's voice placed layer upon layer to build the backing. It's all about the voice rather than fussy production this time around. Which isn't to say that the dance influence isn't there; first single Little Bit Of Feelgood is a funky floorfiller and Figured Me Out has some crazy keyboards which reminded me of Doctor Fink (who played with Prince). There are even guitars to lead in the stomping Hurricane before things get a disco tinge on Green Light. It's Jamie and piano again on Where D'You Go? before the album finishes with the beautiful Rope of Sand, another stunning ballad with simple orchestration.

That's a very brief rundown. The production really focuses in on the voice and it's the kind of scrutiny that many singers would crumble under but on this personally titled album 'Jim' is revelling in his gift. The only way to know for sure how good he is, is to buy the album and enjoy.


John Self 26 April 2008 at 11:41  

Now hang on a minute. This was reviewed favourably in the Observer Music Monthly! We all know where that leads.

John Self 26 April 2008 at 17:25  

...On the other hand, 'Another Day' is lovely, so I was frustrated to find on searching iTunes that the album's not released until Monday!

William Rycroft 28 April 2008 at 08:47  

Ah yes, Observer Music Monthly. Fear not John; this is a consistent, commercial, old fashioned soul album. Some recent reviews have criticised it for being too commercial and even mentioned Jamiroquai but I don't think he's created that big a crime. It just sounds like he's having fun. Hope you enjoy it (from Monday of course).

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