on 24 March 2014
Jimi Goodwin has carried on the tradition of Doves and Sub Sub to come up with a varied and diverse album of catchy songs with resonant lyrics and a relentless rhythm that is very easy to get caught up in.
Didsbury Girl, and Panic Tree are the most folky and Doves like of the tracks in my opinion and songs such as Man vs Dingo hark back to Sub Sub with the electronic effects and dark tones. Oh Whiskey is the standout track for me as its lyrics are so catchy. Every song says something different and in an interesting way.
Its a great album and highly recommended to anyone who likes the Doves and it shows that Doves fans can have faith in Jimi to pull out all the stops to continue the high quality of output as a solo artist.
Highly recommended. Five stars isn't quite enough...
on 3 April 2014
When Beck released 'Sea Change' I remember one critic complained that the vocals on tracks like 'Paper Tiger' were sloppy or slurred, I forget the exact word used. I also remember thinking that this person must be new to the world of music and perhaps new to the world in general. Elvis, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits - non of these people took a rock 'n' roll elocution lesson.
My point is that music critics can be as dumb as the rest of us. They're just people whose voices reach a bigger audience than most.
The general consensus in the music press is that Jimi Goodwin's first solo effort away from his Doves band mates is an average affair at best. Some reviewers seem quite uptight, considering the business they're in, and almost offended that Mr. Goodwin should have the impertinence to make an album by himself. This strict parental attitude seems to have clouded their ability to enjoy 'Odludek' for what it is - the result of a great song writer letting his hair down, having some fun and coming up with some unexpected but inspired extracurricular invention.
Even if you can't accept that this is a solo effort, there's still a lot for a Doves fan to enjoy here. Tracks such as 'Didsbury Girl', 'Hope', 'Oh Whiskey', 'Keep My Soul In Song', and 'Ghost Of The Empties' are all excellent, equal to anything he's done before and certainly won't startle anyone who likes Doves' music.
'Live Like A River' has been likened to a Sub Sub track but the slight dance element is deceiving and merely a cover for a far more robust, driven song than anything that that band ever produced.
'Man v Dingo' is the one song where you feel that Mr. Goodwin's desire to make a "mad mix tape" of an album actually shows itself. The track is the most out-there element of 'Odludek'. A cheesy quiz show theme (sounding more like Sub Sub than 'Live Like A River' does) leads into jaunty bass, blasts of brass and a playful, music hall guitar strum. The lyrics sound like a stream of consciousness and complement the music perfectly. It has an 'everything and the kitchen sink' quality to it and does indeed sound a little mad. Terrific stuff that nevertheless may test a loyal Doves fan.
'Panic Tree', co-written with Elbow's Guy Garvey, also has echoes of music hall in its piano sound and suggestion of big bass drum wallop. With it's slightly wacky, unhinged glory, it's impossible to listen to it without smiling or dancing. If anything, along with 'Man v Dingo', it perfectly embodies what the main purpose of this album may have been - to create an atmosphere reminiscent of an after hours pub party or a large family get together where the band is loose, well oiled by a few drinks but hitting its stride. There's drive, fun, laughter, pathos, melancholy, nostalgia and love. At the end everyone's tired, unsteady on their feet but happy in the warm embrace of friends and family.
If you're open to it, 'Odludek' is a distillation of all those things - a great night out.
on 4 April 2014
Odludek is the debut solo album from Doves front-man and guitarist Jimi Goodwin. For anyone unfamiliar with Jimi or the Doves, this is the band responsible for songs such as Catch the Sun, There Goes the Fear, Caught by the River, and Black and White Town amongst others. Since 2000, they’ve released four studio albums and currently seem to be having a ‘break from recording’ since their last album in 2009. Nice work if you can get it.
Odludek, as an album name, is seemingly taken from the Polish word meaning misanthropist, loner, hermit, or recluse. This does sound a little mysterious but quite apt considering this is Jimi going at it alone.
With talk of a solo album first mentioned in 2011, Jimi Goodwin had intriguingly indicated, “It's shaping up to be like a mad mix tape, no pause for breath, no gaps between songs, going from 140BPM carnival-style freak-out to a folk track then hitting a hip-hop-esque beat.”
Well, three years on, and the album doesn’t disappoint. Thankfully, it’s not quite the mad mix tape promised to us. It’s difficult not to draw comparisons with Doves, but yes there are pleasing similarities. However, the album also lacks a little quality control – I’d have preferred a couple of songs to have been omitted, but then I prefer music which is a little more acoustic/folk/alternative than anything ‘hip-hop-esque’.
And so, onto the tracks. You could imagine the album’s first track Terracotta Warrior being a worthy opener for the live gigs Jimi has scheduled. Didsbury Girl takes us onto more familiar Jimi Goodwin territory, while Hope is reminiscent of an Elbow-style track with accompanying male harmony vocals. The beautiful Keep My Soul in Song has flutterings of a certain Nick Drake, while the track Oh Whiskey starts with an acoustic look-back at life before a mid-song change of tempo, and for good measure a backing harmonica rift reminiscent of something from Midnight Cowboy. A few tracks on and the album ends with a quirky, light hearted folk number, Panic Tree.
This is one of those albums that grows better with each listen, and it wasn’t long before I removed a couple of tracks from my playlist (Live Like a River and Man v Dingo) as for me the tracks were a bit more experimental and didn’t quite fit the rest of the album.
As the Amazon description says, Odludek is ‘Impossible to pigeonhole, properly addictive and hook heavy’ - while Odludek understandably contains a bit of Jimi finding his feet as a solo artist, I think on the whole it’s really worked. There are tracks here that are up there with the best that Doves could ever offer us, and I really hope to hear more from Jimi soon. Time will only tell as to whether this will be as a solo artist/recluse/hermit, or again as a three piece band.
on 30 April 2014
The first solo album from Doves main singer, bassist, four years after Doves last album. Jimi's voice is maturing well, sounding rougher and wiser in every note, a voice to treasure; sadly, the music and melodies are not as well developed. Volume seems to over ride tune too much, there are too few quiet moments to let appreciate the sounds. Very few solo artists make better records than the bands they were once part of, and this one proves this.
on 20 April 2014
This album is truly fantastic.
Each listen seems ro reveal more,there is a real depth to this work.
Oh whiskey and didsbury girl are the most doves like tracks,while man vs dingo is a crazy yet brilliant song.
A cracking album.
on 30 May 2014
This is a great album, varied in sounds and styles with a mix of easily accessible tunes and growers. Too often a solo album is a commercial spin off rather than a worthwhile piece of art. Thankfully this is a well crafted and thought through release that builds on previous band work without going over well tred ground.
on 29 August 2014
Didsbury Girl is great, reminiscent of some of the best of Doves. Most of the rest is just not compelling, e.g. Oh Whiskey is over-rated and mediocre. If I want to hear melancholy folkish singer-songwriter material, I have much better choices available. If you want to hear what's possible with the Doves sound absent Goodwin, listen to the Ship single by Black Rivers, formed by the two other band members. The BR singing is not up to Goodwin's quality but the melody and driving beat is up with the best of their past releases. On the other hand, this seems to be a one-off. Their other tracks in live performances have been, yet again, mediocre, amateurish. As happens so often when bands split up for "creative" reasons, the sum of the parts rarely matches the whole. Doves were one of the best indie bands in the UK, easily the equal of say Elbow or Coldplay, and with more of an edge (except when their sound engineers managed to screw up some of their later live concerts to the point of making them un-listenable). On current evidence, whether you listen to Goodwin or Black Rivers, they were far better together than they are after the split, and I wouldn't buy an album from either of them.
on 4 May 2014
I had high expectations for the first solo offering from dove's lead man, but Odludek is only worth buying for the doves-esque 'Keep my soul in song', 'Oh whiskey', and the excellent 'the ghost of the empties'. Odludek is a very poor album by Jimi Goodwin's standards, the sooner doves return from their self imposed hiatus, the better. 'Terracotta warrior' is the worst song I've ever heard along with 'Man v dingo'. Jimi, you are a brilliant musician, but please go back to what you do best, Doves, your public duly awaits.
on 1 May 2014
Coolest album for years. Mixing folk rock and house chill out. Drunken stomp song after 70s Disco homage anyone?(Man v Dingo) and love tune to a woman from a certain area of Manchester are but two of the intriguing tracks here.
on 12 January 2015
I speak as an avid fan of Doves, who have been one of my favourite bands over the past decade or so. However, this offering from Jimi Goodwin has been an immense disappointment. Ok, we should expect something that sounds different from Doves, as he treads his own path as a solo musician, but this album (other than one or two songs which I quite like, just preventing a rating of 1/5) is truly awful. For the most part he seems to have dispensed with all the ingredients that make up a truly anthemic song - anthemic being a word I have always used to describe music by Doves. What a shame - I expected so much more. But it's with great regret that I have to say this has been a wasted purchase.