JAMIE LIDELL plays Lee’s Palace on April 8. See listings. Rating: NNNN
When artists put out a self-titled album several releases in, it usually signifies some kind of rebirth. In the case of Jamie Lidell, his fourth record for Warp finds him successfully combining elements from all eras of his shape-shifting career into a singular approach that feels more natural than anything he's done to date. For those who've followed him from his early days as an eccentric electronic artist to his later Motown-influenced soul excursions, this newest electronic funk vision feels like the album we've been waiting for.
There's no mistaking the overall Prince influence, but it's what the Purple Wonder might have come up with had he spent several years lurking in Berlin techno clubs instead of hiding in his mansions. The multiple layers of Lidell's vocals are the focal point, which makes sense given his history performing solo by looping his own voice. Balancing that warmth are the heavily processed and synthetic grooves evoking the weirdest moments of 80s R&B filtered through modern technology.
Top track: What A Shame