Jamie Lloyd’s debut Trouble Within drew comparisons with electronic music innovators Matthew Herbert and Jamie Lidell. The critical acclaim lauded on the Australian helped him follow that up with a remix album aimed at the dancefloor which saw his versions of tunes by Quarion, Brennan Green and Zwicker find their way into the record bags of DJs such as Steve Bug, Laurent Garnier and Ame. Back with his second artist album, Lloyd combines the approaches of both for Beware of the Light, kicking off with tracks showcasing his singer/songwriter talents for easy listening and moving on to bass stompers more at home in clubs.
A former frontman of an indie band, Lloyd kicks off his album with a trio of tunes that put his vocals at centre stage. “Shot Down” has a fuzzy rumbling synth chugging away as his tender vocals are supported by brass and guitar interludes. “The Wolf’s Sun” ups the pace slightly while retaining a bluesy air, then title track, the plinky plonky “Beware of the Light” acts as a gateway to the rest of the album. The leftfield pop jackknifes after three minutes, transforming for a big electro climax and from then on he leaves the vocals alone in favour of full-blown techno energy targeted at the dancefloor.
The leftfield pop jackknifes after three minutes, transforming for a big electro climax.
“Speed Racer” is a high octane beat-fest, “One Little Sand Storm” uses a cord progression which continually evolves as space-like sounds shoot all around it. Lloyd pauses for reflection on “Fire Flies”, a softer trip through a fantasy land, takes a more sinister turn with “Big Bee Crash” then rounds off with a more-progressive pondering with “A Box Thing”.
Lloyd’s fusing of pop, disco, funk and techno has led him to create a slightly schizophrenic persona on the evidence here, unsure whether he wants to take centre stage as a performer or stand back behind the dance music and let his audience go on their own journeys. For Beware of the Light Lloyd seems to be showing how his sound has developed from the former to the latter stage and is set to arouse major interest from clubbers outside of Australia when he starts his solo tour in Asia and Europe next year. Let’s hope he stays true to his more vocal-led tunes, though, as he generates more feeling in his music when his voice is its anchor.