Jamie Cullum

Momentum

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Britain's Jamie Cullum's sixth studio album, 2013's Momentum, finds the jazz-influenced singer/songwriter flexing his creative muscles on a stylistically varied set. Working with a variety of instruments from vintage keyboards to electronic samples and beats, Cullum clearly used this project to expand his sonic palette. Which isn't to say that the singer has completely abandoned his usual vocals-and-piano format. On the contrary, most of the songs here are still rooted in Cullum singing and accompanying himself on piano, with key instrumental flourishes and studio reworkings added as a means of highlighting his vocal melodies, most of which he wrote himself. Cullum displays his considerable gift for pop songcraft with particular skill on such songs as the bombastic "Edge of Something," the torchy '60s soul dance number "When I Get Famous," and the introspective, folk-inflected composition "Get a Hold of Yourself." However, while Momentum features a number of heartfelt original melodic pop songs, it also delivers a few surprisingly reworked jazz standards, such as the inspired downtempo reinvention of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" featuring rapper Roots Manuva. Similarly, Cullum's deeply ruminative, widescreen take on "Pure Imagination" is an album standout. Although Cullum got his start during the jazz singer boom of the early 2000s, with Momentum he's proven once again to be a musically eclectic songwriter with more than enough creative speed to keep him going for years to come.

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