Jamie Lidell: Multiply Additions

A remix album/live album smash-up that seems like a true in-the-meantime.

Jamie Lidell

Multiply Additions

Label: Warp Records
US Release Date: 2006-05-30
UK Release Date: 2006-05-30

"Multiply" is one of those timeless tracks, soul-fed but in no way dated. The highlight of Jamie Lidell's 2005 album of the same name, it is full to bursting with raw-voiced soul, and brings a smile every time it comes on. It's an indication of the best Lidell can offer, but not all of it. Elements of jazz and electronica are equally important to his new "sound"; a sound not fully worked out on Multiply, which fluctuated around inconsequence and transcendence in equal measure. And it turns out, Lidell's disc of remixed and live cuts from the album, Multiply Additions, doesn’t quite have it worked out either.

I guess at its root I was hoping for a remix album, or a live album, but the smash-up of both detracts from the continuity that building electronic tracks have -- there's no reinforcement, no building atmosphere. Lidell's smooth, electro-tinged compositions are ripe for remixing, too, so it seems almost like a missed opportunity. And there's another problem with the live cuts; if a Lidell live show is really such a never-repeated-the-same-way-twice revelation, all twisted, fragmented parts of songs and layered clips of the audience clapping, how's a record going to capture that? The two live recordings on Additions don't really communicate this frenetic/immediately manufactured quality. Though the La Scala crowd whoops and cheers enthusiastically, "You Got Me Up" is really not more than a breakdown, a groove that hardly rises to a complete song. And Lidell's "Game for Fools" plays second fiddle to Mara Carlyle's gorgeous cover; the Herbert collaborator's entrancing, smoky jazz voice totally owns this Standard-style tune.

Which begs the question: why not just include one version? It becomes an issue when considering track order, since the first three tracks mirror Multiply directly, that Additions could have become this year's Silent Alarm, a remix album with the potential to bring new insight to the perhaps too-splayed enthusiasm of the original. Instead, we get a bit of a hodge-podge: some jazzy live work, some quality electro remixes, without the sense of a cohesive, overarching idea.

Still, there is some quality remix work on Additions. "A Little Bit More"'s repeated electro hits are a perfect accompaniment for the "little bit more" ostinato (recalling Herbert's "The Movers and the Shakers") and Lidell's thin voice, which is a little like Pharell Williams' over-reaching soul imitation from "Frontin'", but better. "What's the Use" is turned around in typical Mocky style, up-playing the funk and down-playing Mocky's smooth raps. He's done the same thing just now with Feist in "Fightin' Away the Tears", where the melody's a firm focus, the rap taking place of verse in a really satisfying combination. And Freeform's mix of "When I Come Back Around" is all echoing electro, pared of the funk bassline, letting the dance-party chorus stand on its own (leaving out the mixed-up multiple voices of the original).

If the original was Lidell's masterpiece, "Multiply (In a Minor Key)" is a passable, gentler iteration: all piano accompaniment and vocals that seem to bask in the warmth of the melody. But there’s also Matthew Herbert's "Hoedown Bump Instrumental". I suppose given this, it's no surprise I liked the Herbert rework. A toy steam-engine chugger replete with all sorts of little metallic clicks and clacks and a cool bass flourish, it proves Herbert's not just great at making the background interesting for Siciliano or Murphy.

So Multiply Additions seems like a true in-the-meantime. Not as substantial as it could have been, the disc is more fodder for one track here, one track there: Luke Vibert's mix going on your "Party" playlist, Mara Carlyle's onto your "Sunday Morning". Useful for DJs and collectors, but otherwise, you won't miss much by waiting for Lidell's next effort.

Jamie Lidell - Multiply






Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.


Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.


The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".


Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.


Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Mobley Laments the Evil of "James Crow" in the US

Austin's Mobley makes upbeat-sounding, soulful pop-rock songs with a political conscience, as on his latest single, "James Crow".


Jordan Tice's "Bad Little Idea" Is a Satirical Spin on Dire Romance (premiere)

Hawktail's Jordan Tice impresses with his solo work on "Bad Little Idea", a folk rambler that blends bluesy undertones with satiric wit.


Composer Ilan Eshkeri Discusses His Soundtrack for the 'Ghost of Tsushima' Game

Having composed for blockbuster films and ballet, Ilan Eshkeri discusses how powerful emotional narratives and the opportunity for creative freedom drew him to triple-A video game Ghost of Tsushima.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Love and Cinema: The Ruinous Lives in Żuławski's L'important c'est d'aimer

Żuławski's world of hapless also-rans in L'important C'est D'aimer is surveyed with a clear and compassionate eye. He has never done anything in his anarchic world by the halves.


On Bruce Springsteen's Music in Film and TV

Bruce Springsteen's music in film and television captured author Caroline Madden's imagination. She discuses her book, Springsteen as Soundtrack, and other things Springsteen in this interview.


Alt-pop's merci, mercy Warns We May "Fall Apart"

Australian alt-pop singer-songwriter, merci, mercy shares a video for her catchy, sophisticated anthem, "Fall Apart".


Tears in Rain: 'Blade Runner' and Philip K. Dick's Legacy in Film

Blade Runner, and the work of Philip K. Dick, continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?


London Indie-Poppers the Motive Impress on "You" (premiere)

Southwest London's the Motive concoct catchy, indie-pop earworms with breezy melodies, jangly guitars, and hooky riffs, as on their latest single "You".


Vigdis Hjorth's 'Long Live the Post Horn!' Breathes Life into Bureaucratic Anxiety

Vigdis Hjorth's Long Live the Post Horn! is a study in existential torpor that, happily, does not induce the same condition in the reader.


Konqistador and HanHan Team for Darkwave Hip-Hop on "Visaya"

Detroit-based electronic/industrial outfit, Konqistador team with Toronto hip-hopper HanHan for "Visaya", a song that blends darkwave and rap into an incendiary combination.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.