Tuesday 19 February 2013

Jamie Lidell - Jamie Lidell

Funky as hell.

It's the only suitable way of describing this, the sixth full album from Cambridge-born Lidell who resides in Nashville.  After working in the industry for over a decade and a half, it's only now that he has released an album that's self-titled - is this finally the definitive Lidell album?

Over the course of his output, Lidell has shifted between styles but always maintained his neo-soul sound.  'Jamie Lidell' is a modern distillation of his music, combined with the experimental techno of his work as part of electronic duo Super Collider.  The result is an album that's so funky, it's practically obscene.

The 80s inspired electro-funk sound is of maximal proportions, sounding equally retro (with its dirty basslines) and futuristic (due to the otherworldly, processed vocals).  Imagine Prince on heat meets 'Discovery' era Daft Punk.  Lead single What A Shame previously set the tone on its release last year, a tone that the full album repeats across the eleven tracks.  The instrumentation may be almost completely synthesised, but the overall effect is soulful and fiery.

The album may be a little one-dimensional, but Lidell still finds some room for variety.  why_ya_why is an especially odd inclusion - a wonky jazz-funk fusion characterised by lumbering brass; whilst penultimate track Don't You Love Me is a much more laidback affair, offering a moment of respite before the album's suitably explosive ending of In Your Mind.  The highlights, however, are the pure funk tracks like Do Yourself A Favour and You Naked, with their sexy melodic lines and dramatic, kitchen-sink production.

'Jamie Lidell' is so big and loud, it's easy to become immune to its charms and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of its layered effects.  As a whole, though, it's almost impossible not to succumb to this utterly filthy tour de force.


Gizzle's Choice:
* What A Shame
* Do Yourself A Favour
* You Naked

Listen: 'Jamie Lidell' is available now.