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Jimi Goodwin - Odludek (Album Review)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 Written by Graeme Marsh

It’s been almost five years since Doves’ last broadcast, the excellent ‘Kingdom Of Rust’, and they have been sorely missed. It’ll come as a relief to a starved fanbase that their break is just a time out, with vocalist Jimi Goodwin focusing on a debut solo effort in the meantime.

Goodwin is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist as well as frontman, so is well placed to go it alone on ‘Odludek’. There are times here where he sounds a little lost without his bandmates, but the most unexpected aspect of this album is the sheer level of variation on offer.

Synths and foghorn-like blasts open the album as Terracotta Warrior announces itself, before Goodwin’s easily recognisable vocals appear like a long lost friend. “I know who you are but who am I?” he sings, and with so many styles on display it’s hard to provide a definitive answer.

Didsbury Girl, a track dating back to 2004, follows the familiar minor chord path associated with Doves as arpeggiated acoustic guitar and washes of synth create a flowing soundscape, penetrated by brooding saxophone. Live Like A River, though, opens to an unexpected techno intro before evolving into an album highlight thanks to some thunderous percussion.

Hope is perhaps most reminiscent of Doves, the chorus approaching anthemic status as the track blends more instrumental surprises together in the shape of mandolin and flute. 

The middle of the album is where things will take a dip for Doves fans in particular. Man Vs Dingo, an oddball with a funky ‘70s disco intro, turns into a trumpet-fuelled mess, while Keep My Soul In Song’s sparse piano conjures a vision of a smoke-filled jazz club but ultimately fails to excite. 

The upbeat, harmonica-led opening of Oh! Whiskey gets things back on familiar ground, with Goodwin singing an ode to the hard stuff. “Whiskey give me everything,” he sings. “But please don’t give me the blues.”

Soon to be touring as support to Elbow, Goodwin also includes a collaboration with Guy Garvey on album closer Panic Tree, a tale of father/son relationships that comes on like a 1920s saloon bar stomp, complete with honkeytonk piano, as years of talk finally come to fruition for the old friends.

Goodwin wanted the album to be like a mixtape that school friends would put together for each other back when cassettes were a major currency, and he has succeeded. While there may be a shortage of highlights, ‘Odludek’ is one hell of an eclectic mix; an ever-changing canvas that remains intriguing throughout.

Jimi Goodwin Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri May 02 2014 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Tue May 06 2014 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Think Tank
Wed May 07 2014 - NORWICH Waterfront
Sat May 10 2014 - GLASGOW King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Thu May 15 2014 - CARDIFF Gate
Fri May 16 2014 - LONDON Islington Assembly Hall
Sun May 18 2014 - BRISTOL Thekla
Mon May 19 2014 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Tue May 20 2014 - PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Fri May 23 2014 - BIRMINGHAM Institute Library
Mon May 26 2014 - MANCHESTER Gorilla

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