Jamie Lidell | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader
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On his first solo album, 2000's Muddlin Gear (Warp), Jamie Lidell hid behind walls of squelchy noise and dirty beats--it was the sort of in-your-face postelectronica record that a California nutjob like Lesser or Kid606 might release. Working with fellow producer Christian Vogel as Super Collider, he let his vocals peek through: on their 1999 debut, Head On (Loaded), his weirdly soulful voice was eviscerated by rubbery electronic tones and jagged, disjointed beats, and on 2002's Raw Digits (Rise Robots Rise) it cut through more cleanly. But I still wasn't prepared for the quasi-soul rush of Lidell's terrific new solo album, Multiply (Warp), which puts his singing front and center. At times he reminds me of fellow British white-boy soulster Lewis Taylor, but even when he's piling on lush backing harmonies Lidell prefers to keep things raw; on the Otis Redding-tinged title track he sings about ripping free of artistic straitjackets, wailing, "I'm so tired of repeating myself / Beating myself up / Wanna take a trip and multiply." With a bit of slow-jam phrasing here and some gospelized shouting there, his performances sometimes seem to border on minstrelsy, but his unfettered enthusiasm gets him over. Live drums, guitar, and bass, mainly provided by Canadian expat Mocky--as well as some horns from Jordan McLean of Antibalas--sweeten the pot, but for this show, part of Resfest (see Movies), Lidell will perform solo, relying on plugged-in instrumentation to get his party on. Sun 10/9, 9 PM, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago, 312-280-2660 or 866-468-3401, $15. All ages.

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