CD Review: Jamie Lidell


By Charlotte Cudd |

“Imagine Prince producing Otis Redding at an early ’90s warehouse rave,” one review from Blues and Soul music magazine said. Take a huge dose of 60s-inspired soul, add a splash of Jamiroquai and new age dance beats, top with a sultry voice whose range is astounding and you’ve got Jamie Lidell: a skinny, white one-man techno band that will force anyone to shake their hips.

The album begins with just-above-elevator easy listening and quickly transitions into funk. “You Got Me Up” is the perfect introduction to get Lidell’s listeners prepared for “Multiply,” Lidell’s first hit made famous from “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“Multiply” is why I purchased the cd. I cannot stop myself from dancing (or singing) whenever it comes on. “Put it where the sun don’t shine, babe, although I’ll tell you that I’m doin’ fine.” Come on, how fun? Lidell does a fabulous job of turning his already beautiful voice into the melody, adding to an even stronger desire to dance like nobody’s watching.

“A Little Bit More” is brilliant. This song is hot: lyrics, tempo, range. No wonder Target used it as a recent theme for an ad campaign. The story is a comical take on the guy trying to run away from the girl who always wants “a little bit more.” If you’re not paying attention, you could be deceived into thinking the song is about one man’s desire for more of this certain female. But no, he’s through. Finito. Apparently, Lidell just wants to be the appetizer and not the main dish.

The sixth song on the album enjoys surprising listeners — how it begins is nothing like the core. When Lidell begins singing “Music Will Not Last,” I’m reminded of a classic Ray Charles song. His unique sound quickly makes me forget the familiarity and I get into the smooth, finger-snapping soul. This song is celebration music for the good times.

Do not be deceived! Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is not number seven. Instead, “New Me” is fast-paced funk. It’s a little intense but I like it. To me it resembles Lenny Kravitz’s mouth-on-mic style and Ben Harper’s “Bring the Funk” and “Temporary Remedy.” But wait, is that a twist on Cubana I hear?

One of the best soul songs I have heard in a long time is number ten, “Game For Fools.” Every aspect of sound is so beautifully blended, yet the concepts are simplistic, with lyrics like “first moment you hesitate, better ask yourself why. Don’t you wait until it’s too late, cuz something inside has died.” We could all afford to hear messages like this one. When this song ends, I’m left wanting so much more, not to mention I suddenly feel intoxicated with relaxation.

With so much of today’s music meshing into stereotypical genres, it is refreshing to hear an artist whose sound crosses multiple musical barriers. Jamie Lidell is one indefinable man and “Multiply” sets the stage for even more impressive music.

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