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3.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 29, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Recorded in Berlin, Los Angeles and Paris, Jim takes even further what was started with Multiply, finding the balance between the spontaneous
creativity of his raw ideas and the careful craft and polish of a great record. Jim will switch you on in the morning, move you on the dance-floor and take you down in the small hours. It s a bold, promiscuously diverse album, mixing up gospel grooves, sweetly sung and fiercely passionate
soul, delicately moving ballads, thumping early R & B, synthed-up disco,
and even a touch of hillbilly funk. I haven t tried to hide the influences,
says Jamie Lidell ''This is the music I love.'' But, listen closely and you can
hear Jamie moving in new directions, creating a sound and style that is
entirely his own.


The record sounds simply wonderful: alternately nubby and spangled, it s like a cashmere throw that turns intermittently into a showman s cape. Lidell's voice has never sounded better than it does here. --Pitchfork

Jamie Lidell s ''Multiply'' might have faded from our minds and iPods since 2005, but the British blue-eyed soul singer s back in a big way. A big, romantic, retro, soul kind of a way, that is. Jim, his second solo album on Warp (not counting the collection of Multiply remixes released in 2006), picks right up where the earlier record left off almost. His new collection of songs is both more polished and more genre-limited than Multiply. But because the Berlin-based singer s such a consummate professional, this material is an absolute pleasure to hear from start to finish. Oh, maybe it s not his professionalism that gives that impression it s his infectious joy. ''Give yourself the green light'', Lidell sings, and his optimism is unquenchable.

In an indie music atmosphere that s leaning (this year) decidedly towards the folk and psych ends of the spectrum, Lidell s retro style provides a welcome contrast (as indeed it did in 2005). Nevertheless, a quick comparison: return to ''Multiply'' after you ve just heard ''Little Bit of Feel Good'' and the older song sounds staid, contained, understated. But maybe that s unfair, because ''Little Bit of Feel Good'' is the funkiest, most exuberant song on the album. It s impossible to resist. If not Best New Music, it s Best Music That s Being Made Right Now.

Two elements of Lidell s composition and production, in particular, seem to have gelled on Jim: economy and crisp precision. The former s an undeniable compositional advantage. The brass-and-horns interlude of ''Another Day'', for example, brilliantly recalls a Frank Sinatra standard (''Fly Me to the Moon'') before jumping lithely back to the original timbre. It s now a Lidell trademark to employ the various ingredients of retro soul jazz tonalities, gospel backing choruses in slick layers that aren t apparent the first few times the songs are casually heard. The crisp production, though, belies the fact that Jim could never have been made 30 years ago. It s the way the cymbal sound in the chorus of ''Out of My System'' splays out into computerized distortion, or the way the accompaniment in the gentle ballad ''All I Wanna Do'' evolves from simple acoustic guitar to arpeggiated organ to fuzzy atmospheric effect.

Still, the subtlety of these electronics and the discretion of their employment are what makes Jim an ultimately more accomplished record than Multiply. You won t find a song like the electro-hiccup ''When I Come Back Around'' here. Instead, there are more pianos; a song called ''Green Light'' wraps them around a clicking horse-shoe percussion and faint aquatic effects. And early highlight ''Wait for Me'' is all unbridled celebration, a little bit ''Runaway'' and a little bit orange shirts and bell bottoms.

You get the feeling Lidell could keep pumping out these perfectly-minted soul songs forever. That s fine with me he s great at it. And ten songs at just under 40 minutes is the perfect dose of neo-soul for anyone who s been pummeled by a bit too much depressive tight-jeaned guitar music over the winter. It s the beginning of spring, Jim is, with the straightforward and admirable aim of getting us all to enjoy life just a bit more. As Lidell himself explains :

All I really wanna do
Is show you how easy it could be
To paint back the colours,
the green in your tree
Before it all fades away. --Popmatters
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warp Records
  • ASIN: B0013F2MG6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,135 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Born in Cambridgeshire rather than the Deep South, Jamie Lidell nevertheless has a remarkable soul voice, reminiscent of Otis Redding's. He began his career on the underground techno scene but, way before Duffy, Adele or Amy Winehouse, he was emulating the sounds of Stax and Motown.
His latest album is his best yet, buzzing with a sunshine funk that Stevie Wonder would be proud of (notably on the ebullient single, "Little Bit of Feel Good").
"Wait for Me", with its boogie-woogie piano and gospel vocals, is typical, lending a 40-year-old songwriting template a sheen of sassy modernity.
Like a New Age Stevie Winwood, Jamie has his own joyful road to the elixir of Stevie Wonder-sourced synthesised soul. The first taster from his forthcoming eagerly anticipated second single, "Little Bit Of Feeling Good" is as slinky, suave and downright superb as homegrown UK dance gets.
Jamie's vocal charm presents riches aplenty - elastic pitch, melodic purring, peachy phrasing - and the minimal funk backdrop, sashaying horns and rainbow-coloured back-up harmonies make this a true gem.
Signed to the hip electronica label Warp, and counting Feist and Gonzales (who plays piano here) among his pals, the Berlin-based Lidell would be expected to produce something pretty cool on his third album. But where its predecessor fused laptop beats with retro styling, Jim is an all-out stomping soul album. In its favour, the tunes are tight, and Lidell has a great soul voice.
It retains a keen sense of nostalgia, a sharp sense of style and mixes influences to generally pleasing effect. By the singer's own admission, it's a promiscuously diverse collection that mixes up gospel grooves, sweetly sung soul, delicate balladry, thumping early R&B, synthed up disco and even a little 'hillbilly funk'.
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This CD is a whole lot more than "A Little Bit of Feel Good," which is not only getting a lot of radio-play, but also appeared on both "NCIS" and "Grey's Anatomy" in the past few weeks. Though Jamie Lidell's a British bloke, he's got a voice straight out of the 1960's South. He's been likened to everyone from Marvin Gaye to Sam Cooke. My understanding is Lidell came from techno, but I have no experience with his previous music--but you better believe I'm going to check it out!

Standouts for me: "A Little Bit of Feel Good" which will get you up on your feet with it's uptempo beat and gospel groove. "All I wanna do" a bluesy ballad. "Green Light" which adds a techno groove over what could have been an Al Green song.

Rebecca Kyle, May 2008
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I think it is painfully obvious to anybody who is paying attention to music these days that the latest trend in British music is white artists singing songs in the vein of throwback 50's and 60's soul music. We need not look any further than artists like Amy Winehouse and faux doo-wap girl groups like the Pipettes to see less-than stellar examples of this burgeoning neo-soul genre. With that being said, the only artist who successfully pulls off the throwback sound with any genuity, in my opinion, is Jamie Lidell. While his debut album Multiply far exceeded most people's expectations, one of its major problems was that there was just a little too much genre-hopping for it to sound like a cohesive record. The best songs on that album by far were the ones that truly captured that 50's soul music flavor, but there were a few too many bad wanna-be-Curtis-Mayfield-circa-Superfly tunes for it to sound genuine. However, it seems like he went into his sophomore album keeping the best of what worked on Multiply and leaving behind what didn't. From beginning to end, Jim sounds like it could've been recorded when Motown ruled the radio, yet it still manages to sound contemporary too. The first three tracks on the album are the upbeat songs "Another Day," "Wait For Me," and "Out of My System," which effortlessly capture the mood of the late greats Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke without feeling forced or trite. But I've always felt it's the ballads where Jamie's genius truly shines. His voice is like absolute butter on the slower soulful tunes like "All I Wanna Do" and "Green Light." For anyone looking for an accomplished neo-soul CD that lives up to the hype, then look no further than Jamie Lidell's Jim. You won't be disappointed.
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Jamie Lidell continues his soul takeover of Warp with JIM, though this time, he seems to channel a feel-good 60s vibe right off the bat on "Another Day" and "Green Light." "Wait For Me" continues this, but "Out Of My System," "Little Bit Of Feel Good," and "Hurricane" dive head-first into the funk-soul. Lidell seems to be engaging with funk on a more pure level here, with less electronic nudging as on MULTIPLY, but he also shows his more sensitive side with "All I Wanna Do" and "Rope of Sand." But, mostly, he wants to party, like on "Figured Me Out" or the piano-driven "Where D'You Go?" Some good times to be had with JIM.
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Jamie Lidell is one of those artist that broke into a little bit of mainstream by being used in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. His last album Multiply was an absolute piece of art. It evoked the spirit of old time funk, a little motown, and rock and roll. This album is surely focused a little more on Motown. Jim is more polished a lot softer and happier. These songs could have easily been from a past time period. The songs are well written and very well performed. Any fan of Motown would surely fall in love with this album.
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