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Jamie Lidell 

Multiply

Wednesday, Sep 28 2005
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This straightforward homage to Stax/Volt-era soul is a serious departure for Jamie Lidell, a genre-stretching British knob-twiddler whose previous solo work consisted of shadowy, artfully damaged downtempo and who's best known as one-half of the millennial cyberfunk duo Super_Collider. Older fans might mistake Multiply's sincerity for throwback-ism -- or, worse yet, irony -- but everything here suggests that Lidell has the pipes, songwriting skills, and dedication to the masters to render his own neo-retro masterpiece. While his able voice echoes those of Otis Redding, Sly Stone, and Prince, Lidell's production frequently nods to soul-jazz arrangers like Herbie and Stevie. Still, he stakes out his own white-boy soulitude, countering summery, finger-snapping singalongs ("Multiply," "Music Will Not Last") with ricocheting floor-fillers ("When I Come Back Around," "Newme"). Both sides are street-wise and ecstatic, with Lidell's dramatic, digitally tweaked production augmented by upright bass, horns, cowbell (yay!), and his own overdubbed backup vocals. You'll want to strap on headphones to slurp up every funky bleep and bass line, but make sure you've laced up your skates, too, 'cause this one's gonna move you.

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Jonathan Zwickel

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