Jamie Lidell

Multiply (Warp Records)

Forget neo-soul: Jamie Lidell resurrects the old school so effortlessly you barely notice that Multiply is essentially a one-man orchestra of expressive electronic splicing and dicing. Wielding a voice that alternates between gruff Otis Redding purrs and tight James Brown breakdowns (with moments of Prince's pre-Jehovah's Witness sonic orgasming thrown in), Lidell has created one of the funkiest pieces of retro-futurism ever made. But Multiply is not merely a Motown knob slob, and Jamie Lidell is no mere grave robber. As soon as the nostalgic fog dissipates, you catch a glimpse of the complicated cut-up rhythms sharply scurrying beneath the slick surface melody. Lidell is what would have happened if R&B hadn't committed suicide in bad pop barbershop with cheesy vocal somersaults. Bow down, R. Kelly.
 
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