Release Date: Feb 19, 2013
Record label: Warp
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
With his band Super Collider, Lidell made supremely funky EDM; as a solo artist, he has veered into retro-minded R&B. The best bits here goose jhericurled synth-funk with modern electronics (the hooky "What a Shame"). But Lidell seems most interested in Xeroxing old Prince and Roger Troutman moves. He does it well, at times, but he usually makes you want to YouTube up the originals.
Who woulda thought that the heir to the funk crown previously held by The-Artist-Formerly-Known-As-and-now-actually-known-again-as Prince would be a nearly 40-year-old white dude from England? And yet, here we are. Jamie Lidell might be an unexpected flag bearer but he is not undeserving. He sings the pants off every song on Jamie Lidell, his fifth studio album.
British songwriter and singer Jamie Lidell returns after a three-year hiatus with a record that shows just how easily he can combine heart and technology. Shedding the more experimental touches of 2010's Compass, Jamie Lidell harks back to the cocktail shaker of soul music that brought him worldwide attention with Jim (2008) and the Motown-tinged Multiply (2005). It also confirms that this Englishman can undertake a shift in direction so smoothly he should be treated for acute David Bowie disorder.
The first thing you're going to do after hitting play on Jamie Lidell's self-titled album is slide across the floor and rip off your shirt. The second (awkwardly enough) is call your mom to prove you in fact do know good music. Lidell kicks off his self-titled album with "I'm Selfish," a track so funky it sounds like a Morris Day and the Time cover.
Typically the word “pastiche” doesn’t imply an act of tribute so much as an accusation that a work is unoriginal. But with apologies to music critic and Retromania author Simon Reynolds, there are times when a pastiche cannot only live up to its source material, but also pick up the baton and branch off in new but still faithful directions. Take British cyber-soul singer Jamie Lidell, who after about a half-dozen albums is just finally now getting around to releasing a self-titled disc.
When artists put out a self-titled album several releases in, it usually signifies some kind of rebirth. In the case of Jamie Lidell, his fourth record for Warp finds him successfully combining elements from all eras of his shape-shifting career into a singular approach that feels more natural than anything he's done to date. For those who've followed him from his early days as an eccentric electronic artist to his later Motown-influenced soul excursions, this newest electronic funk vision feels like the album we've been waiting for.
Jamie Lidell’s work proves that dance beats require brains, or at least his brain requires a dance beat. Either way, Lidell knows how to lay ’em down to get the crowd moving, which is what his latest self-titled offering does the best. The return to funk recalls Lidell’s 2005 breakout album, Multiply, which garnered acclaim and curiosity over how an English-born, Nashville-based songwriter could pull off a Prince/Rick James sound without sounding like Donald Hall’s nephew.
Two tracks into Jamie Lidell, it sounds like player’s finished. Cooked. A-Rod. Last we heard, the Brit-soul radical fell on black days, moping out of the uneven Compass with an uncanny take on the “singing’s such an eff-ing chore” bemoanery of solo Chris Cornell. Scrubbed of that ….
There is a point, midway through Jamie Lidell’s eponymous new record, on the track “You Know My Name”, a blistering P-Funk number with a cheeky wink in both title and production to Prince, where he asks, “Is this all I’ll ever be?” The album and by virtue of that the man begs this question because, whilst not definitive, it’s a self-assured career high—something Lidell has long been in want of since 2005’s Multiply. The intervening years have seen him follow in the footsteps of multi-instrumental chameleons, with Prince and Beck casting long amorphous shadows over his work. Their ability to change gear from album to album has seen them transcend definition, occupying the negative space between the familiar and unfamiliar.
For a superb soul singer, Jamie Lidell is uncommonly good at production -- and conversely, for a great producer, he has an incredible voice. Accordingly, his solo material and occasional collaborative projects always inhabit some common ground between the two. His self-titled solo album for Warp is slightly more a production album than a voice album, although all of the tracks are vocal productions.
Beardy British future-soul man Jamie Lidell has taken a long hiatus, moved to Nashville, Tennessee and returned with this self-titled album. A big step away from the dreary retro-soul experiments of 2008’s ‘Jim’ and 2010’s Beck-produced ‘Compass’, it’s paced frenetically, moving happily from over-excitable to calm and clear. ‘Do Yourself A Favour’, for example, layers Lidell’s serene vocal against prominent bass claps.
If on his big, mid-period albums, Jim and Multiply, Jamie Lidell was essentially a proto-Plan B, a purveyor of polished, romping retro-soul, then Jamie Lidell represents a return to his electronic roots. Sort of. Recorded at his home in Nashville, Lidell's fifth album is not the bold fusion of soulful songwriting and cutting-edge electronica he once traded in as half of Super_Collider.
Jamie LidellJamie Lidell[Warp; 2013]By Brendan Frank; February 26, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGIt’s getting tougher to find music that isn’t tweaked, touched-up or airbrushed. For Jamie Lidell, the boundary between embracing the new and dreaming of a simpler time isn’t so simple. He’s enamoured with old school soul and R&B, but his music has always benefitted greatly from his talents as a producer and finding fresh ways to convey old ideas.
Now on to his fifth solo album, Jamie Lidell’s releases are beginning to follow a certain pattern. His debut Muddlin’ Gear emphasised his electronic preoccupations, sounding frequently demented and manically inventive. Multiply came as a surprise to those not following Lidell’s performance work closely, as he veered into a world of manipulated electronic funk and soul.
Jamie Lidell currently sits in a similar place in the musical spectrum as fellow neo soul/electro funk pioneers such as Erykah Badu. For their more recent output and live shows Lidell and Badu have both taken the template laid down by Seventies legends such as Parliament/Funkadelic and reworked it with a hard, modern electronica edge. Lidell’s latest self-titled record for Warp records mixes up Prince-style vocal histrionics, authentically Eighties retro tom rolls and synth work with some ace twenty-first century production tricks and slicker than thou studio finish.
Jamie Lidell in traditionalist blue-eyed soul mode can be good; Jim is still a fine record to sink into on a weekend afternoon. But he shines when he really pushes things, playing up the unpredictable smooth-yet-sharp timbre of his voice and pitting it against a deviation of R&B that's not quite beholden to a specific style. When Jamie Lidell's lead single "What a Shame" debuted last fall, it was an encouraging bellwether, a bristling fusion of current dance and R&B trends that lurched and pulsed like crossover dubstep used to a few years before the EDM craze enlisted it in the loudness wars.
The England-born, Nashville-residing experimentalist Jamie Lidell has crafted a sound of psychedelic soul on his new self-titled LP via Warp. With shards of color and wavy synth lines, Lidell takes us into his world of cosmic twists and forces us to dance it out in an epic collaboration of man and machine. Over a decade since his electronic dance album Muddlin Gear, his fifth full-length release implies a new beginning, which effectively sees Lidell remodeled as an apostle of ’80s funk and pop soul.The follow-up to 2010’s Compass, the new album was recorded and mixed at Lidell’s home studio in Nashville, and in true Lidell style, it sees mixed elements of voice, percussion and funk-laced grooves.
‘Used to make it all about me / ‘Cos baby I’m selfish’ goes the chorus of opening track ‘I’m Selfish’ on Jamie Lidell’s self-titled second album. And any irony within that album titling / opening track lyric combo isn’t present elsewhere, since Lidell does exactly what musicians like The xx and James Blake haven’t - he makes music inspired by eighties pop, electro, disco, funk and R&B, without deconstructing it. There’s no turning things on their heads, no taking things apart to constituent parts to show us how they work.
Jamie Lidell is like an electro Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in the genres of funk and soul. What began as a career in blips and blops gradually morphed into something more mainstream and smooth, despite a predilection for time-hopping through the histories of soul and funk. An alliance with Beck on 2010's Compass led to perhaps Lidell's best effort to date, and certainly the best Beck album in recent memory.
UK digi-soul weirdo Jamie Lidell has lately taken steps to move away from that whole “digi-soul weirdo” thing. Both “Jim” and “Compass” found Lidell taming his electronic outbursts into tender ballads and blue-eyed soul. Those first drawn in by the Stax/Warp hybrid he offered on 2005’s “Multiply” will find the energy of this effort familiar, but he’s added a splash of New Jack, and synth trimmings from ’80s freestyle.
Lidell layers on 80s pop-soul production techniques for his latest studio album. Garry Mulholland 2013 Huntingdon’s Jamie Lidell has had an unusual career path. Kicking off way back in 1997 as a relatively run-of-the-mill techno artist, and bagging a deal with Sheffield’s Warp label when it was still the home of leftfield electronic dance music, Lidell gradually remodelled himself as a blue-eyed soul man.