tue 17/09/2019

CD: Jamie Cullum - Momentum | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Jamie Cullum - Momentum

CD: Jamie Cullum - Momentum

Stylistic mash-ups of album number six result in perfect pop

Dipping at will into pop history: Jamie Cullum

Jamie Cullum's sixth studio album is about as good a pop record as you'll hear all year. Newly signed to Island Records, the singer-songwriter has seemingly raided ideas from the entire history of pop music, such that low-fi vintage synth lines and jazzy piano breaks rub shoulders with heart-on-sleeve soul belters and subtle electronica. The kind of stylistic pluralism that directly reflects Cullum's own musical loves, in other words.

The mash-up of opening salvo “The Same Things” is typical of the album as a whole, combining a deep, New Orleans-type rolling percussion groove with stacked up vocal harmonies, topped off by a really nasty transistor organ solo. By contrast, the dramatic “Edge Of Something” throws everything into the textural mix: pounding drum break, booming piano lines, sweeping strings and plenty of ear-catching percussion detail.

With a ridiculously catchy chorus hook, it's easy to see why “Everything You Didn't Do” was picked as the first single, although, after a Mariachi-flavoured intro, the piano vamp of “When I Get Famous” - with an audible nod to one of Cullum's heroes, Herbie Hancock - runs it a very close second. Already released as a teaser, Cole Porter's “Love For $ale” is given a dirty, hip-hop makeover underpinned by a menacing bass line, a Roots Manuva sample and some slick rhymes from the man himself following Cullum's dreamy Fender Rhodes solo.

As well as the reinvention of Anthony Newley’s “Pure Imagination” and the melancholic “Sad, Sad World”, the repeating two-chord piano riff and tambourine/guitar stabs of “Anyway” and the ecstatic chorus of “Take Me Out (Of Myself)” are two more slices of perfect pop. Oh, and if you want to hear Cullum channel his inner power balladeer à la Alicia Keys, head straight for “Save Your Soul”.


Low-fi vintage synth lines and jazzy piano breaks rub shoulders with heart-on-sleeve soul belters and subtle electronica


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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