Monday, January 12, 2009

music - Evil Urges by My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket, or MMJ if you're in a terrible rush, is one of my favorite bands. Evil Urges, their latest album is everything you'd expect from a constantly evolving, inventive band, considering this type of band wouldn't release anything you'd expect. It's a paradox. And it's totally whacked-out. 

The genre-fusing this album attempts is intentional, and Jim James's goal was to show how related all music really is. There are tracks that invoke 70s R&B (Thank You Too!, Sec Walkin), and its traditional counterpoint: futuristic funk-metal (Highly Suspicious). But there's some common ground with their earlier albums (the brilliant "It Still Moves" and "Z") with tracks like Evil Urges and I'm Amazed (maybe the most accessible of any MMJ track to date). The standouts for me are the absurdly-named Touch Me I'm Going To Scream tracks, both Part 1 and Part 2. These two tracks exemplify (yep, I said "exemplify", check back to see how often I reach for that word throughout this blog) what MMJ brings to their fans: high-flying, thoughtful rock n' roll that builds and builds until it explodes all over the floor and there's a huge mess but it's cool 'cause they hired a janitor to clean it up for you.

Tons has been written on this album, from lauders, lauders' daughters and haters, so I won't go on too much more, other than to say that I don't think I could imagine this album coming from any other artist. And until I heard it, I don't think I imagined this strange and precisely executed collection of songs from MMJ either. It's a fascinating listen, and the highest compliment I can give it is that it deserves to be an MMJ album.

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