Jamie Lidell, "Compass"

4

British retro-soul crooner Jamie Lidell's fourth album, "Compass," takes listeners down an electro-funk path blazed by its fair share of rock collaborators. The set heralds the return of frequent Lidell cohorts Feist and Chilly Gonzales, along with support from Wilco's Pat Sansone and additional production provided by Beck and Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor. Lidell's glitchy beatbox evolves into a pulsing industrial grind on opening track "Completely Exposed." "Enough's Enough" recalls the uptempo grooves of Sly & the Family Stone, and the singer's lilting tenor soars above a bloated bassline on the supremely funky track "The Ring." Beck's heady DIY production approach is felt on the song "Big Drift," which features backing vocals by Feist. Even as his piecework band stretches the sound in unexpected directions, Lidell--like a peculiar cross of Prince and Otis Redding--remains confidently true to his soul vision, creating a tense musical discourse that wrings raw emotion from each eclectic track. --Connor McKnight