As in there are so many reasons to love this album... For the uninitiated, Mr Lidell comes contaminated with a spectacular avant guard pedigree - half of Super_collider, both their albums are grrreat by the way, a solo debut on Warp 'Muddlin Gear', very strange electronic stylings...also stuff with Mocky, Herbert - he's been around for a while now:- But with this album all bets are off, goalposts shifted, expectations thwarted - this thing's a funk, old school style r&b, soul, oddessey... This is not RnB as the kids know it, this is what otis or marvin would be doing if they'd grew up post kraftwerk and been on Warp Records. And the guy's voice, Good Gawd his voice!!! pure class. You got me up, Multiply, When i come back around, these are the initial highlights, by virtue of being catchy and all up in your face, but it's the slow burners on this album that i'll be flicking on in the morning pre-cup of tea well into my dotage. Jamie's tour de force will rewire your head and ease you into a sunny perspective that will linger long into your day. That's all the reasons you need.
ok, these reviews are always subjective, so you need to know where I'm coming from. If you love Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Prince then I dare you not to love this album. In point of fact, Jamie Lidell is (I think in his early 30s) and I'll eat my collection of hats if he didn't grow up as a massive Prince fan as a teenager in the 80s. The first 5 tracks are stand-out winners. You got me Up is a 2 minute pop/funk confection in the Prince mode and sets the tone. This man does not waste a note of music, a second of time. It's all totally considered and highly produced. Multiply as other reviews mention is perfect R&B (Marvin Gaye style) and Jamie's voice is showcased to its full, grunts, yelps and all, but the simplicity of the tune is what delights here. When I come back around is actually a nod to the dancefloors (via Jamiroquai) and chock-full of 80s synths. A Little Bit More is basically Jamie's falsetto over a deep and dirty bass groove - again pure Prince, and What's the Use (personally my favourite) is just a joyous soul/funk work-out from start to finish...I could go on...my album of the decade.
Where was his Brit award nomination, eh? Some of those artists were nominated two years running (U2 I think), but this guy brings this masterpiece out and it's largely ignored. Just as well perhaps. This guy is too good for the masses. Pretention over, lets make a start... This album is fantastic. There can be no argument by anybody about this fact. It's not average, it's not just good. It truly is great. All we get these days is the same pop dirge over and over again until everything and everyone sounds the same. Bloc Party, Hard-Fi, Snow Patrol, etc. Where is the innovation? Where is the flair? I'll tell you where it is. Here, on this album. But it isn't perfect. But what album is these days, eh? Mr Lidell has excelled himself. It is so tunefull, funky, weird and honest. The track about not hesitating rings true for me as well as many of you, whether you admit it or not. The album, from the outset, is a pop album compared to his earlier work (and his live performances: oh yes, I have seen him live, sampling is own voice several times over and re-synthesising it over and over) but still shares some of the experimental sensibilities of some of it, but unlike his last albums (as Super Collider included) EVERY track is perfectly listenable. Turn up some of his tunes and listen carefully to the arrangement (When I Come Back Around, Whats The Use with it's Street Fighter punches and the Super Collider-esque City) and you will be convinced he's the bastard offspring of Prince and Aphex Twin. Where is the Melody in A Little Bit More? It is entirely provided by his sublime vocals. Extraordinary. And that's why this album is great. It defies convention in each genre it steals from in every track, it uses an extraordinary amount of electronic wizardry, it's bright and funky and it STILL sounds like the best POP album out at the moment. Do the Brits really matter if guys like this are ignored?
Quite simply, this album IS a must have! I first time I came across Jamie Lidell was at the Warehouse Project in Manchester by accident. His live show is something else, the most amazing attack on the senses possible by one man and an arsenal or electronics.
I got hold of the album ASAP, and although very different to the live show, it is no less spectacular! Don't draw comparisons to anyone; this is an album in its own right.
Some really great tunes to listen to here, be it in the car, on the treadmill or with your morning coffee. Mr Lidell takes an often badly tortured style of music, gives it mouth to mouth and builds it's confidence back up again in his own unique style. Think a little of Sly Stone, Prince and the magic of Super Collider and you're getting the taste. Mocky also plays bass on the album amongst other things and there is certainly the chemistry of 'How will I know you?' in the mix. It may take a few listens to totally settle yourself in, but it's a good purchase. Stand out tracks for me: 'You got me up', 'Multiply' (little bit like Brown Eyed Girl!) and 'The City'. I think it'll be a great lively tonic for summer and beyond!
When I first heard this record, I loathed it. I had enjoyed Lidell's earlier record, 'Muddlin' Gear' and found 'Multiply' a bizarre shift towards a more souly-sound, and a sound that it felt like he was putting on in an attempt to essentially be Prince. However, I came back to record a few months later with less expectations and now I can't get enough of it. It's fresh modern soul, like Vikter Duplaix, and is exciting technically and emotionally. Lidell's voice has never really been in question, and here he also shows himself to be a true musical maverick. Favourite track: 'What's the use?'