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Multiply

Jamie Lidell

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Album Review

Head On and Raw Digits, the two albums Jamie Lidell made with Cristian Vogel as Super_Collider, remain thrilling meeting points between the lacerating, discombobulated electronic disco of Liaisons Dangereuses and the freak-flag-flying funk of early-'80s Cameo. Lidell's Multiply is more a successor to those two albums than his first solo full-length, 2000's relatively rigid and academic Muddlin Gear. Only now, he's gone a rather straight-laced route, retreating to things like mid-'60s Stax and Motown, James Brown, pre-Revolution Prince, and oh, you get the idea. The focus here is on Lidell's affected (if occasionally affecting) voice, real instruments, and real songs. Lidell's voice is rarely treated, unlike the alien moments on the Super_Collider albums, and it will be compared to a few soul legends, though it's just as deserving of parallels to John Fogerty and semi-obscure journeyman singer Shawn Smith (who, as part of a duo called Pigeonhed, made an unrecognized precursor to Head On in 1993). With about as much effort, Lidell could do wicked impressions of any earnest post-grunge vocalist. Though he's not against using electronics to his advantage — as on the zapping, slightly hallucinatory "When I Come Back Around," which lands somewhere around an imagined Basement Jaxx remix of "Controversy" — plenty of songs are knocked out with Hammond organs, horn blurts, handclaps, and all the other elements to make it as authentic as any neo-soul release. Since this is out on Warp, many will question whether or not Lidell's being ironic, but it's plain that he's being sincere, despite the affectations. He really is pouring everything he has into the whole thing, but there's so much overly earnest, reverential, "let's get back to making real music" energy floating around that you can sense it nibbling away at the desire to make something that sounds like today. And if that doesn't bother you, a couple issues with this album remain — one being that at least half of it could've been made by a moderately talented hobbyist.

Customer Reviews

Crazy Mad - Gorgeous Voice

This week's free download of his song "What's the Use" has inspired me to find out all I can about Jamie. What I've found a few mere hours is that this is one crazy blue eyed boy with one of the most spectacular voices I've heard in a long while! Pop music needs more voices like this, but more importantly pop music deserves creative minds like this. I hope this is a trend that keeps going and evolving from here on out. I just don't see how someone could hate a voice this pure and talent this raw. This man is what loving music is all about.

Tom Waits' little brother?

---Outstanding tracks--- A little Bit More :: nice funky simple -- reminds me of sunbleached wooden shacks on a summer day. What's the Use :: Just go and listen to it! :) What is it this Time:: ooh, a little Wilson Pickett, or Al Green drifting thru....there should be more tracks like this one, a little sharp pain and wistfulness in the voice and whoa! Game for Fools:: uh....huh! This track got it goin on. Nice vocal phrasing, again, simple background brushed cymbals, a little bass keeps the cornbread, beans and rice feelling goin' on here. ----Tracks to Dump---- Newme/The City :: Neither of these tracks sound sound as though they are as polished as they could be. Newme sounds like a freshman effort more suited to a high school student just learning how to put tracks together. The City Track just doesnt work with the hard rock edge constantly fighting with Lidell's chocolate silk voice. These two tracks sound like experiments that should have been left in the vault. Multiply :: A little Otis Redding on the dock of the bay, and some weak lyrics leave this track feeling like a knock-off Fendi bag found at a flea market for a dollar. If this song had been my first taste of this artist, I would have kept right on walking. Shame it is the title track for the whole album, cause there are waaay better tracks to groove to. :::SUMMARY::: Some of you might remember Boz Skaggs, an old member of the blue eyed soul vangard. Well, take a pinch of Boz, a little of Tom Waits, and some modern D'Angelo and keep the background rhythms and instruments simple and you've got some good music to sip a mocha latte by... (Two very weak tracks and one mediocre one keep me from giving it top marks)

Try Exponentiate

It's just that good. Multiply, in and of itself, is a knock-your-socks-back-on return to the melodics of soul that delightfully refuses to discard the raging electronic theatrics of modern music. There's a point and poetry to Lidell that makes attempted semi-soul pop rockers look the part of the fleeting 6th grade summer jam, and with an album this fine, he indeed makes fools of us all. Join the club and give this one a listen.

Biography

Born: September 18, 1973 in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Engla

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British producer Jamie Lidell became as widely recognized for his effective neo-soul vocals and performances as for his earlier career as a producer of groovy experimental techno. After some EP releases for labels such as Mosquito and an appearance on the Mille Plateaux-released Industrialsamplecoregouchbeat compilation, Lidell collaborated with equally well-known techno producer Cristian Vogel as Super_Collider in 1999. Following this project, most noteworthy for the popular track "Darn (Cold Way...
Full Bio
Multiply, Jamie Lidell
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries

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