FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2008|
"Play that funky music, white boy" could be the voice of God that drove British singer Jamie Lidell to move away from his electronic roots to an album that opens like John Legend and closes like a futuristic Al Green produced by early Thom Yorke. The appeal of Jim (Warp) is definitely that Lidell takes an old sound and somehow makes it brand new and appealing without really changing anything. The formula is the same, glitzy guitars and keyboards, thumping beats, and Lidell’'s smooth, jazzy voice keeping it funky.
"Little Bit of Feel Good" is definitely a nod to the entire album; the whole thing is a rollar coaster of disco funk-pop, and yet, it is wholly irresistible. I have no problem taking Lidell seriously when he spits his soul, and I think that’s the real challenge of making a record like this; people dismiss it as nostalgic throwaway. But not Lidell, the whole thing is so fresh, it can’t be phoned in. Then there are tracks like “Hurricane” that are so new in sound, and still true to the roots of the genre, they leave you saying: “how the hell did he do that?” I mean, the track sounds like Gnarls Barkley (in an incredibly awesome way) . Mind you that duo takes a combined might of a super producer and an R&B vocalist, and Lidell totally nails it on his own. Don’t let Jim get away; this is a must-listen. - joe puglisi