Record Machine: Odludek by Jimi Goodwin

Amazon’s mistake was my gain because I pre-ordered the CD version of Jimi Goodwin’s Odludek, and on the day of its release, I received the vinyl+download edition. I can always burn a CD for the car (for I am one of the last dinosaurs who still plays music such a manner), and now this column can talk about how bloody perfect this album is.

Jimi Goodwin - Odludek

Jimi Goodwin is the main vocalist for Salford/Manchester-based band Doves — whose praises I’ve sung many a time — and his solo album has been chatted about for ages. People like Elbow’s Guy Garvey would talk about how good it was on Twitter, and feeling a severe new Doves deficit in my life, I felt myself mentally pacing for its arrival. Eventually, he released an advance single, “Oh! Whiskey:”

Oh! Whiskey give me patience
Oh! Whiskey bring me truth
You used to give me empathy
How come you give me the blues
Please don’t give me the blues
Oh Arthur Bell and son I’d like a word or two
in remembrance of good times
you used to waltz me round the room
but there’s a limit to these thoughts
a contractual clause or two
and if its all the same I’d rather not
I think I’ve learnt my lesson now with you

March 25, the whole of Odludek arrived and I wanted to hug its face off, which, let us remember, is the highest form of Sara-praise.

Jimi Goodwin writes in a beautifully literary way, and the songs are the type one might wish were available in intravenous form. I’ve had some difficulty picking my favorite song from the album, but “Hope” and “Man v Dingo” are currently battling it out for the top spot.

The distant trees are crowding in the valleys
their shadows a blackened barcode against the sky
giant limbs are swaying and calling me to climb
I just can’t seem to reach no matter how hard I try

Speaking of Guy Garvey, he collaborated with Goodwin on “Hope” and “Man v Dingo,” so let me remind you that the band Elbow is of course worth a listen too.

“Man v Dingo” has horns and an assault of sound that I really love for how different it is from “Hope.”

If I doused your body in kerosene
you’d still be lying through clenched teeth
you and your inbred hoards
You’re the type of man who’d piss against my leg
and then declare it’s raining
pouring see the rain that falls while
broken Britain vented its spleen
we got base observation from the BBC
might as well be in a fucking space observatory
so very very far from impartial

According to Goodwin’s site, Odludek is a Polish word meaning loner or pilgrim, which he used as a nod to being on his own now — although when I heard his session on BBC Radio 6, he also said that he feels as though he and his current band supporting the album should be called Odludek themselves, rather than it being a Jimi Goodwin solo production. Still, marketing overlords prevail, and it’s his name we see on the cover.

Whatever musical form he takes, I will be forever interested. Odludek is an outstanding album, and one I will play often.

Jimi Goodwin - Odludek liner notes

Side A

Terracotta Warrior
Didsbury Girl
Live Like A River
Man v Dingo

Jimi Goodwin - Odludek liner notes 2

Side B

Keep My Soul in Song
Oh! Whiskey
The Ghost of The Empties
Lonely at The Drop
Panic Tree

Jimi Goodwin - Odludek back cover

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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