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Jamie Lidell: Jim

May 21, 2008, 12:00 am
Jamie Lidell is smooooth, baby. The Brit soul singer jumps into the way-back machine for a ride to 1960s Motown in his new album, the simply titled Jim.
Of course this time warp is nothing new for Lidell. His 2005 album, Multiply, was praised by critics the world over for it's sexy flashback sound. Jim, however, loses some of the bump and grind in favor of introspection. It's a little sad and, at points, sappy. The album ends on such a downer with "Rope of Sand," that it's easy to forget the frantic anger of "Hurricane" just three tracks before. In fact, "Rope" is a left turn at the end of the album, one that channels James Taylor more than Marvin Gaye. The acoustic guitar and self-pity need to go.

Aside from the album's one crapper, Jim's heartbreak is a sweet innocent one. He tells his lover, "I'll be waiting/wanna know if you'll know you'll wait for me too?" with such joyous anticipation that only a fool wouldn't wait. This is a boy who won't break her heart.

Because Lidell began his career as the knob-turning laptop geek of Super_Collider, his indie cred is through the roof. The electronica lovers in his fan base usually look to the future, not the past, for inspiration, so they wouldn't know how to play their parent's vinyl Motown collection if they tried. But even they can appreciate that it's the best soul to come out of a tradition that hasn't really existed in some 40 years.

Warp Records


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