Pity poor Jamie Lidell. You struggle for years to get across your groundbreaking blend of glitchy, fractured electronica and unorthodox soul stylings, then some young chap comes along doing much the same thing, and people acclaim him as the pioneer.
Such a pioneer, in fact, as to come second in the BBC's Sound of 2011 poll. Which is not to criticise James Blake for that misplaced approbation, there being some decent moments on this debut album. The floating vocoder harmonies on "Lindesfarne II" recall those of Bon Iver's "Woods", and there's an Anthony Hegarty-esque charm to the fragile, fluting vocal of "Give Me My Month"; but elsewhere the D'Angelo-style etiolated R&B and asymmetrical beats wear thin quickly. And for a songwriter, it's not good that the best lyric on the album is the cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love".
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