Album: Jamie Lidell, Compass (Warp)

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The Independent Culture

For some reason, Jamie Lidell has opted to renege on the developments of 2008's Jim – most notably those regarding killer tunes – and revert to the glitchy, stripped-down electro-soul of his earlier Multiply.

The results are intermittently impressive, but not particularly memorable. Wisps and fragments of instrumentation flutter and squawk behind Lidell's distorted vocal beatboxing, without seeming to alight on a definite melody. Elsewhere, the manner in which the guitar of "Completely Exposed" and the trumpet of "The Ring" are strangulated suggests they're there under sufferance. It all sounds like a skeleton, or a negative; as if there exists a more fulfilled version of the album, on which Lidell croons like Al Green and the songs swing like Saturday night in Memphis.

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