(Mercury KX)


If you’ve tracked any of Lambert’s prolific run of work since 2014 (he’s turned out an album every year since), it’s clear that behind his Sardinian mask aesthetic, and the playful, highly technical reworks of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’ and Moderat’s ‘Bad Kingdom’, his proficiency as a pianist definitely isn’t po-faced.

The mockumentary brilliance of Becoming Lambert (a 10-minute film short where a group of wannabe Lamberts attend a retreat to learn Lambert’s inspirational ways) is further wry, artistic proof of his sense of humour – and, who knows, perhaps some those hopeful graduates made it onto one of this album’s 14 miscellaneous collaborations?

False has given me the freedom to develop myself artistically in all kinds of directions,” Lambert explains in the record’s press release. “I can now go anywhere.” And so he does: the record shifts from the quivering electronica of ‘Brack St. Twen’ to the pedal steel guitar of ‘Secrets’; from the buzzing free-form jazz of ‘I Thought I was Ian’ to the delicate piano-led tracks of ‘Opus 23’ and ‘Bolero Azul’. It’s a compositional flair that keeps everything stitched together as disparate sounds and voices dart between collaborations, genres and lengths, where light orchestral interludes flow into laidback lounge music and breezy ambient without missing a beat.

All of it helps to create a welcome momentum that feels cohesive and connected, instead of a series of sudden, jarring left turns. And for all of the endless, excitable possibilities Lambert might have envisaged, ultimately this album’s real charm lies in the sum of its enigmatic parts.