Jamie Lidell
Multiply Warp http://www.tinymixtapes.com//sites/default/files/arton5234_0.jpg

[Warp; 2005]

Rating: 5/5 5 / 5 (0)

Styles: soul, electro-pop, IDM
Others: Jamie Lidell is a musician who does it all -- writes, plays, produces, sings -- and all of it in grand style. While I acknowledge that an album from Warp is unlikely to rip up the charts, if there i


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Jamie Lidell has been a player in the IDM scene since at least the late '90s, releasing a few solo EPs as well as a superb collaboration with Christian Vogel under the name Super_Collider. While a full length solo album, Muddlin Gear, did surface late in 2000, the first Super_Collider album overshadowed it in many ways by focusing on the very instrument that Lidell buries on Muddlin Gear -- his voice. Lidell is a white boy soul singer with no boundaries. Operating as a Prince-like vocalist in the context of Super_Collider, he seemed more willing to flex his vocal muscle than on his own material. To be fair, Muddlin Gear offered a few glimpses of this side of his persona, but only as a counterpoint to more skittery instrumental tracks that cast him as a producer in the mold of his Warp label counterparts like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin.

Since the release of the second (and possibly last?) Super_Collider album in 2002, it's been three long years since we've been privy to any new joints in the Lidell canon. Now, the dry spell is being squelched with the unbelievable bomb that he is dropping on the unassuming general public in the form of Multiply. Finally, and even more pronouncedly than with Super_Collider, Lidell is exploiting his lithe and supple voice to its utmost in order to create a buffet of soulful, funky, and just plain beautiful music. From the very start, the casually funky bassline of "Yougotmeup" introduces the listener to a brand new world of neo-soul, where IDM aesthetics will take a backseat to showcasing of vocals -- including the judicious incorporation of female backing singers to testify to this shift of focus. But this is only the beginning. Each track offers a new angle on Lidell's versatility. "When I Come Back Around" sizzles with intensity of a Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production. A classic Motown feel that would suit Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye emerges in "Music Will Not Last." Even the darker, harder-edged IDM soul of Muddlin Gear makes a reconfigured reappearance in the guise of the pessimistic diatribe of "The City." So much ground is covered over the course of Multiply that it is hard not to go on at length about every track, so suffice it to say that this album is a masterpiece.

Jamie Lidell is a musician who does it all -- writes, plays, produces, sings -- and all of it in grand style. While I acknowledge that an album from Warp is unlikely to rip up the charts, if there is any justice in this crazy world of popular music, it will skyrocket Lidell to the top of Warp's roster and endear him to even casual fans of indie electronica. This is a major step forward in pushing the IDM aesthetic into the bigger territory of soul and R&B music. With any luck, others will follow suit, and Lidell will continue to create more music of this caliber. At the very least, we can hope that Lidell's voice never loses the prominence that it has gained in this awe-inducing display.

1. Yougotmeup
2. Multiply
3. When I Come Back Around
4. A Little Bit More
5. What's the Use
6. Music Will Not Last
7. Newme
8. The City
9. What Is It This Time?
10. Game for Fools

1. Yougotmeup
2. Multiply
3. When I Come Back Around
4. A Little Bit More
5. What's the Use
6. Music Will Not Last
7. Newme
8. The City
9. What Is It This Time?
10. Game for Fools