Sorting through Jamie Lidell’s list of influences in his constructing of the non-stop soul picnic that is Multiply is a fond look backward, and the parts on which Otis Redding’s output has had considerable impact are as identifiable as those immersed in Lidell’s passion for post-Motown funk. Multiply is indefinitely one of Warp’s most colorful releases, not because of the lesser involvement of electronic elements — though they’re here, too — but because Lidell’s sexual Brit soul vocals sound similar to the records that Jimmy the Mod and his pill-head friends might have dug on, and because most Warpers wouldn’t have had much of a place during any of the dimly lit make-out scenes in American Graffiti.
The front-seat snare hits and finger snaps of “Music Will Not Last” might even warrant a backup spot for the Supremes that Diana Ross refused to properly compensate on their last reunion tour. Lidell is ever-harmonious on “Music,” mostly breaking into two and three vocal parts. It’s as if he’s singing with a team of Lidells, and over the bare bass and drum combo, he warrants an entirely different moniker: the Ready Steady Go-ness of “Jamie and the Lidells” makes a much better fit here. The mink stole and gin funk of “A Little Bit More” mimics Prince A-sides, in its relatively R-rated script (“got so complicated after we touched each other”) and a relentless baritone mantra that never lets up.
Multiply isn’t as accessible as these aspects make it seem, though. As much as Lidell makes use of his Stax affinity, cuts such as “When I Come Back Around” brim with electronic glitches and the reverbing tech-y psychedelia of “The City” might keep those away who aren’t familiar with Lidell’s previous work and his time spent with Cristian Vogel in Super_Collider. But once any of the sugary muted “Dock of the Bay” Fender licks of the title track reach the potential Lidell cult-member elite, that’s all she wrote.