UK digi-soul weirdo Jamie Lidell has lately taken steps to move away from that whole “digi-soul weirdo” thing. Both “Jim” and “Compass” found Lidell taming his electronic outbursts into tender ballads and blue-eyed soul. Those first drawn in by the Stax/Warp hybrid he offered on 2005’s “Multiply” will find the energy of this effort familiar, but he’s added a splash of New Jack, and synth trimmings from ’80s freestyle. What first sounds like “The Pleasure Principle” turns into “Big Love,” a pumping funk-pop jam that wouldn’t be out of place at a John Hughes prom. “You Naked” siphons some Bobby Brown into a pining sex-you-up soul proposition. Lidell channels MJ (and Anne Peebles) on the slyly sexy “Blaming Something”; and the robot-chorus that backs him on “In Your Mind” illustrates the most intriguing of Lidell's many talents: a knack for making throwbacks sound sent from the future. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “You Naked”
Lidell performs at Brighton Music Hall on April 11.