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REVIEW: JAMIE LIDELL: JAMIE LIDELL

Jamie Lidell’s last album, Jim, was a fantastic mix of soul, R&B and pop. There were even hints of country and bluegrass. The one thing the album wasn’t? Electronica. But his new self-titled album is a gorgeous, electro-pop/futuristic R&B masterpiece. Jamie was one half of the electro duo Super Collider and here he finally brings all of his influences to the table, mixing them perfectly, creating the brilliant album he was always capable of but perhaps afraid to do. But if you’re not a fan of electronic music that doesn’t mean you’ll hate this. His vocals remain soulful as ever and, structurally, the songs aren’t that different. They’re just funkier and layered with more embellishments. The ultimate result is like a cross between Jamie’s last album, the first Sam Sparro album and Chromeo’s Fancy Footwork. For example, “Why_Ya_Why” has an ultra-funky beat that calls to mind Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Part 2” and initially comes across like a straightforward ’70’s retro tune, but then there’s the horn solo that seems out of place just before the song veers off into instrumental break of layered electro sounds. Meanwhile, opening track “I’m Selfish” is just as soulful as anything Jamie has done before. It just so happens to have an electro pop beat and lots of glimmering synth. And “You Naked” is a robust R&B tune that could have easily been on his last album — it just wouldn’t have had the subtle electro-tinkering, which you might not even notice until you’ve listened to the album several times, save for the little flourishes that sound like sci-fi lasers. I suppose some will view this album as an experimental disaster but I think it’s brave, brilliant and very rewarding, especially with multiple listens.

 

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Paris365

An entertainment journalist for 20 years, Michael McCarthy was a columnist and contributing editor for the magazines Lollipop and LiveWire. He co-created and wrote for Cinezine, one of the '90's most popular movie E-zines. The only time he's not listening to music is when he's watching television shows and movies or reading, usually music magazines.

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