Odludek, the solo debut from Doves' Jimi Goodwin, makes up for what it lacks in consistency of tone with a pioneering spirit that both mocks and celebrates the digital age. Genres be damned, Goodwin is at his heart a world-weary Brit-pop songsmith in the vein of Elbow's Guy Garvey, and there is some of that to be found here, but for the most part, Odludek's ten largely disparate tracks play like somebody bumped into the shuffle button while the DJ was taking a smoke break. The one-two punch of opener "Terracotta Warrior" and its kissing cousin "Didsbury Girl," both expansive, semi-traditional, cerebral English alt-rock anthems, helps ease the listener into the proceedings, which take a significant left turn on the wily Kurt Weill-ian "Man v. Dingo" and the frenetic, jungle-kissed "Live Like a River," the latter of which wouldn't have sounded out of place on David Bowie's electro-loving Earthling. Elsewhere, Goodwin dials things back a bit and dips his toes into the warm and weary, Richard Hawley-annexed section of the Thames on the lovely and lonely "Keep My Soul in Song," offers up an affable ode to the yin and yang of hedonism on the north country stomp-fest "Oh! Whiskey," and impresses with a sweeping and inspired blend of ambient pop and soaring arena rock on the Coldplay-esque "Ghost of the Empties." Goodwin himself described Odludek as a "crazy mixtape," and it resonates as such, but somewhere in between his rich, weathered baritone and his self-deprecating lyrics, the listener is charmed into submission, and it all goes down like a perfectly sessionable ale, albeit one with peculiar origins.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger