Jamie Lidell

Jim (Warp)

Jamie Lidell blue-eyed soul Stevie Wonder

Blue-eyed soul singer Jamie Lidell's Jim ranks as one of the most unabashedly retro albums ever made — an inspired throwback/tribute to late '60s and early '70s R&B. Much of the time, Lidell's smooth, suave voice recalls Stevie Wonder circa "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and pre-What's Going On Marvin Gaye. Propelled by handclaps and an early-morning birdsong, "Another Day" even sounds like a long-lost Rascals cut, while the loping, chugging "Wait for Me" evokes Gaye when he was still singing easy-to-swallow pop like "Hitch Hike." With its jiving synth, persistent beat, and clipped vocals, "Figured Me Out" transports listeners to the beginning of the disco era, with Lidell coming on like white-boy Chic. Subtle, elegant, and stylish, it's hard not to get caught up in Jim's tuneful time warp.

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