James Lidell | Compass

Warp (2010)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  May 26, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars

jamie-lidell-compass_main

Hey, I love Veckatimest as much as the next wimp, but the prospect of Grizzly Bear multi-instrumentalist Chris Taylor’s offering production to the latest album from Jamie Lidell didn’t seem promising when it was announced earlier this year. After all, Lidell has spent the past half-decade effecting an unlikely transition from introspective IDM nerd to extroverted R&B dude, and Taylor isn’t exactly known for his soul-music bona fides.

I’m sure I wasn’t alone in fearing a Lidell record longer on gauzy atmosphere than on block-rocking beats. Well, my bad — Compass is actually the former Super_Collider frontman’s funkiest outing yet, with no shortage of booty-shaking bass, gritty drum grooves, or gnarly vintage-keyboard textures. (In addition to Taylor, the expansive supporting cast here includes Beck, Chilly Gonzales, and Nikka Costa.)

The album also has some of Lidell’s most memorable songs, such as the trippy opener, “Completely Exposed” (with Leslie Feist on shouts), and “She Needs Me,” a lovely approximation of Diamonds and Pearls–era Prince. There’s atmosphere, sure, but it’s less sad-guy sitting room and more 22nd-century juke joint.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Feist (Singer),  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MIKAEL WOOD
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS | FURTHER  |  July 07, 2010
    Astralwerks (2010)
  •   DEVO | SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY  |  July 01, 2010
    Given the theory of de-evolution these Ohio brainiacs began expounding more than 30 years ago, it makes a sad kind of sense that Devo's first album since 1990's Smooth Noodle Maps offers such a charmless, base-level version of the band's synth-addled new wave.
  •   TAIO CRUZ | ROKSTARR  |  June 24, 2010
    When Taio Cruz sings, "I can't live without you," in "Take Me Back," pop-song conventions tell us he's referring to a lover.
  •   THE FUTUREHEADS | THE CHAOS  |  June 16, 2010
    "I wish that I could stop the noise," sings Barry Hyde not long into The Chaos . It sure doesn't seem that way.
  •   BETTYE LAVETTE | INTERPRETATIONS: THE BRITISH ROCK SONGBOOK  |  June 01, 2010
    Bettye LaVette’s previous two albums had titles that required a little digging to unpack.

 See all articles by: MIKAEL WOOD