Sunday, June 1, 2008

New Music: My Morning Jacket

photo from Pitchfork
My Morning Jacket's new album, Evil Urges, comes out June 10th, and from what I've heard there's a lot to be excited about. Early on the band was considered Southern rock rivivalists, but their 2005 album Z showed impressive musical growth. There still were the blazing rockers and slow-burning porch ballads, but there were also songs with elements of soul, reggae, and funk, proving that they defied easy categorization. Also, it's hard to imagine the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd wearing white moon boots onstage. Some artists you don't like to see change, but I'm thrilled by My Morning Jacket's new directions and continuous experimentation, whether it's throwing a prom concert or playing with the Boston Pops.

For the two songs from the band's SNL appearance, "I'm Amazed" is a catchy, straightforward rocker, while "Evil Urges" is sultry R&B. Jim James' voice is one of My Morning Jacket's main weapons, and here he sings in a groovy falsetto. And just when you think you have the song figured out, the song breaks down into a dueling guitar jam. But my favorite part about these performances are the priceless poses the band strikes at the end of each song. I love this band.

"I'm Amazed"

"Evil Urges"

The making of
Evil Urges