Rute Correia

Review: Jamie Woon – Making Time

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Jamie Woon performs on stage at the Big Chill Festival 2011 at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire.

Picture by: Rowan Miles / EMPICS Entertainment

It’s been a while since Woon’s debut record, “Mirrorwriting” was released. I remember it too well. While half of the crowd was going nuts over James Blake, Woon’s delicate approach to somehow dubstep-ish and electronic sounds always got me interested beyond the hype. Four and a half years later, my bets that he’d be better off with a more organic approach seem to be accurate; “Making Time” is an incredible acoustic experience and it makes his voice the justice no beat could ever do.

This second incursion of Jamie Woon into a full-length record is also an exercise of memory. I close my eyes and I feel like I’m listening to an acoustic versions mixture of Air, Jose James, and Zero7.

“Little Wonder”, for instance, instantly took me back to my teenage years, where I would spend my night drowning in mellow electronica and downtempo anthems drawn mostly by European hands – it just sounds so much like Zero7’s “Passing By” (When It Falls, 2004) it’s almost unbelievable. This serves to demonstrate how Woon has his references in the right places.

Clearly overthrown by the success of peers that were doing something completely different, like James Blake and the XX, Jamie Woon has now found his kingdom in a space that seems to have been left empty for a few years now. Yes, soul and funk seem to be back in the game in the last couple of years – Whoo hooo! But it’s rare to find it in its purest state, in this bliss of simplicity.

Whilst it’s easy to spot the similarities between “Sharpness” and the long gone “Lady Luck”, it’s also obvious that age has only done well to Woon’s music. On top of the high-quality production that he got us used to, we have now a deeper level of musical understanding and delivering. Jamie Woon may not be an indie electronic warrior anymore, but we should all be grateful for that. As he is now capable of bringing what feels like his true sound – a smooth and delicate intersection of soul melodies with enough space for jazzy bass lines.

All we can hope for now is that Mr. Woon keeps his game high up and maybe bring us something a bit bolder and edgier the next time. For now, the elegance and all we ever wanted from Woon is all there. Enjoy!

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