Jamie Cullum, with his supermodel wife (Sophie Dahl), radio show and judge appearances on Sky’s X Factor/The Voice show Must be the Music, has become better known in recent years for his celebrity status than his music.
Call me cynical, but I’d wager that Momentum – his first album since 2009’s The Pursuit – is his bid to reclaim some of his lost musical credibility.
He’s roped in cool producers Jim Abbiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele) and former Gorilla Dan The Automator (Kasabian, DJ Shadow) and selected the distinctly uncommercial Love for $ale, featuring British rapper Roots Manuva, to be the album’s lead-off track.
He hasn’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater, though, making sure the album still overflows with upbeat radio-friendly tunes (Edge of Something, When I Get Famous, new single Everything You Didn’t Do) and some ballads for good measure.
It’s unlikely to win over those members of the public who can’t stand the sight of him – being young(ish), good looking and talented tends to invoke ire in certain members of the British public – but with its mixture of jazz, power pop and beats firmly mired in 2013, Momentum is an undoubted success.