Jamie Cullum of the 21st 1/10 Century


If the score for relevance is all about how recent it is, well I need to make up some time in the next inning.  Yet for one particular musician whose music is not only more indelible as time goes on, but interestingly enough much of it has a life that predates the artist himself.

This is the case with Jamie Cullum.  I was first introduced to this mesmerizing voice by way of a XM Radio CD I picked up at Starbucks.  Later, though it took much longer to make the connection, enjoyed his voice which actually came out of a digitally animated frog in the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons.  As a fan of Tony Bennett and the like, I absolutely love Jamie’s smooth, scratchy voice.

The similarity to 1950s pop does not stop there.  Along with new tracks like “These Are the Days” and “Catch the Sun” there are also standards like “Singing in the Rain,” “I’m Glad There Is You,” and “Blame It on My Youth.”  Most poignantly Cullum sings a song called “21st Century Kid” which has a most interesting tone to it. Take a look at the lyrics:

There’s maybe a way I can tell you
‘Cause with everyday things continue
To get more compromised,
So who will fantasize
A new generation politicized

When things are done in our own name
Are we as much to blame?
Now it’s become clear to me,
But only latelyjamie_cullum
And the ground is removed underneath

Shout it from the brink,
You’re louder than you think

21st century kid, you’re surrounded by illusion and confusion,
So maybe if you’re holding out for the truth now,
Could it be the greatest weapon?
Could it be the greatest weapon?
Your weapon

Nothing is certain except a memory
And that’s soon washed away by a low sea
Now sit yourself down my one
And see what you become,
Ignoring a smoldering gun

The white dove’s flown
D’ya think we’re on our own?

Can you sense the ambivalence that he feels about life and living in the 21st century?  Not only does this song express the dissatisfaction yet fascination with life and truth, but in context with the nastalgia of the other tracks, Cullum is a voice of the postmodern generation.

Many in the younger generation are seeking roots, and often find that they are not really sure where to look.  Musically it would seem that Jamie Cullum has found his, having been inspired by Miles Davis and others from a completely different era of the art.  Yet the heart and spirit of his message cries out for some sort of foundation and continuity with the past.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine


About Aaron Gardner

Aaron is a counselor and student of the Bible, passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He lives in central Indiana with his wife, one-year-old son and their two dogs. View all posts by Aaron Gardner

Comments are disabled.

%d bloggers like this: