When: Fri., Sept. 10 2010
Like Mayer Hawthorne, Jamie Lidell is a thirtysomething white guy who grew up on soul records from the ’60s and ’70s and can perfectly replicate that sound in his own songs. Hawthorne was raised in Michigan; Lidell is British. But the biggest difference between them is their levels of sincerity. While Hawthorne occasionally buries his voice in hipster trickery, Lidell is straight-up into paying tribute to his idols (Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, and Prince are at the top of the list). Lidell turns a bit from his influences on his latest album, Compass. Producers Beck and Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor drape oodles of sound over the rich arrangements, sometimes leaving Lidell a side player on his own album. But he sounds funkier, and the new dressing reveals deeper layers to the singer. There’s a gruff bite to some of the new cuts that wasn’t there before, and the album’s best songs (“Completely Exposed,” “Your Sweet Boom”) thrive on this experimental edge. Lidell is a romantic, one of those guys who sweats emotion during his songs’ big payoff moments. But he does it gracefully, and he means every single word. — Michael Gallucci
Jamie Lidell, with Tony Castles and DJ Charles McGaw. 9 p.m. Friday, September 10. Grog Shop. Tickets: $17, $15 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.