Jimi Goodwin - Odludek - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jimi Goodwin - Odludek

by Lawrence Poole Rating:7 Release Date:2014-03-24

The Sunday Times critic rounded off his review of this record with a perfectly placed piece of alliteration - eclectic, eccentric and engaging, which for me sums up astutely the craggy Doves frontman's debut solo offering.

It's four year since the Mancunian indie veterans went on an indefinite hiatus, so Goodwin's return in his own right is a welcome addition to the musical merry-go-round. Recently heard proffering backing vocals on friends and tour buddies Elbow's lush comeback single, 'New York Morning', Goodwin's baritone is extremely distinctive and is largely put to good effect here.

Blending everything from krautrock to psychedelia and folk, Odludek (appropriately Polish for 'loner') is a treasure trove of ideas, some more successful than others. The first half of the album is both scatty and caustic, 'Terracotta Warrior' and 'Didsbury Girl', are swampy with Goodwin's distinctive tone lost in the Dan Austin-produced mix. The Queens Of The Stone Age-esque 'Live Like A River' has plenty of visceral oomph, but still doesn't capture the imagination.

The second half of the album, as if buoyed by a half-time pep talk, is much stronger.
'Keep My Soul In Song' is as powerful as the title suggests, while debut solo single 'Oh! Whiskey' and similar ode to the alcoholic beverage, 'The Ghost of the Empties', are wonderful; full of the kind of vim, passion and vigour which made Doves so cherished in the first place. Standout moment is the wonderful album closer 'Panic Tree' though, which romps home in swashbuckling style on a lovely guitar lick and melody and is up there with anything he's previously penned.

Patchy yes, but there's certainly enough in this eclectic, eccentric and engaging release to warrant repeated listens.

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