No, rushing things are not in his nature. JIMI GOODWIN might embraced the wait-and-see-attitude a while ago. Hasty actions are not a thing for the songwriter. It took him four years after the indefinite hiatus of his main band DOVES to come up with his first ever solo album. GOODWIN just didn’t want to deliver a pure rip-off of the enigmatic Britrock sound from his main band. DOVES, like their good friends and Manchester-buddies ELBOW, have always been one of the best kept musical secrets of the United Kingdom. Destined to become bigger than COLDPLAY but maybe a bit too obstinate to do so. Yes, the DOVES were brilliant in their way – but it’s been five years since their last album. And although GOODWIN never denied a future comeback it’s all about this record now. And that’s a good thing!
Odludek sees the 43-year-old singer trying out new ideas while returning to old strength. The result is an album that will work for DOVES-fans as well as for fresh ears. GOODWIN‘s concept was an album that feels a bit like a mixtape. All influences are allowed, every idea is welcome. It’s wild and furious, holding the red line by avoiding it. The singer’s distinctive and longing voice remains the mixing point. Although the love for gentle melodies with a certain psychedelic undertone remains from the old DOVES days it feels like GOODWIN finally found the strength to try out new ideas.
‘My love and passion, an elemental force’ are the first lines sung in the opener Terracotta Warrior. It’s a statement of the artist that is accompanied by a big and heavy brass intro. That’s how you start a comeback. The following Didsbury Girl recaps the dreamy spirit of old DOVES material while unfolding its gentle beauty with a certain retro charm. GOODWIN loves the combination of different musical styles. Odludek is meant to sound a bit like a mixtape in album form. At least, that was its intention. This explains all the tiny little bits and pieces you’ll find here and there. Man V Dingo starts with a weird TV show intro before evolving into a wild and furious blues rocker. ‘I wanted to do a shouty Johnny Clarke meets Shaun Ryder rant, as I’ve never done one‘ said the musician in a press statement. And, well, he’s damn right. This wild and uncontrolled side is a lovely new facet to his output.
The diversified spirit of Odludek works out quite well in the end. A tender Northern Soul ballad like Keep My Soul In Song places GOODWIN as an old Swing singer in a rusty bar while the grooving Live Like A River recalls his Manchester Rave origins. Oh! Whiskey sees him reminiscing about the past while allowing himself a glass of that lovely golden drink. To say GOODWIN is a blues singer in disguise would be an understatement. He’s not disguising – Odludek is his opportunity to live it all out in his very personal way.
In the end the first solo album by the bearded Brit really feels like a mixtape. And the theme of it is the musician itself. His influences, his musical ideas and his special way of combining it all. JIMI GOODWIN could have released three albums with the tons of ideas on Odludek. But he took his time, figured out how to make the best possible outcome out of it and representing it the way it is. The realization of it? The musician is healthy and ready for the world to finally recognize him. But no hurry. So we can have plenty of time with this hidden little gem.
NBHAP Rating: 3,5/5