[From Excellent Reception : Episode 2]
Jamie Lidell has built a career off of spontaneity. The British born singer is known for the way uses technology to layer his vocals into complex rhythms and melodies. Over top of them, he proceeds to sing soulful songs with his richly toned voice that can quickly go from syrupy smooth to raw and raspy in an instant. While he can sometimes be found performing with a band, his solo shows are where you really get to see him at his best. His live show is filled with frantic beat-boxing and funky synthesizers, which are all smoothed out by his phenomenal crooning.
Jamie’s live show goes hand and hand with the way he writes songs in the studio. Freestyled ideas get polished off and built upon. All while maintaining that same “on the fly” energy you get with his stage show. If you listen to any of Jamie’s six albums, you’ll hear him tinkering away on piano, guitar, synths, drums, and percussion. In addition, he has a who’s who of the industry’s best musicians on hand. Chilly Gonzales, Beck, Mocky, James Gadson, Grizzly Bear, and a long list of others are always on hand to add some extra polish to his projects.
There are so many Jamie Lidell songs that are certified classics to me, but I have to say “Completely Exposed” off of his fifth album ‘Compass’ really resonates with me. It starts off with a distorted beatbox rhythm, then it quickly morphs into an early nineties-style R&B jam. I can’t really put my finger on it, but something about the sound of it makes it seem like a lost album cut from R Kelly’s classic “12 Play” album. Yet, this song is sonically more rugged and loose than your average R&B track.
This is an excerpt from the Excellent Reception podcast. Each episode our host, lil’dave, talks about the stories and influences around a group of carefully selected songs. Subscribe to the podcast now via iTunes.