My Morning Jacket’s latest release titled Circuital, especially because of the first single “Holdin on to Black Metal,” has been called something of a long departure from their previous album, but Jim James and company remain consistent where it counts: in making great, rounded, listenable records. Circuital is chock-full of repetitious, exhaustive lyrics and chord progressions, but it more than makes up for it in the tiny surprising details and sheer earnest song writing. This album’s redeeming qualities will keep you around until the end of the last track and left wanting to revisit. Circuital will make a great road album just as well as a sit-alone-in-bed-and-get-lost album, and if you’re like me at all, spending all of your time on your way to and from work or sitting at home contemplating your place in the universe, James’ clear as dishwater storytelling and great sense of humor will carry you through to the next day and put you in a great mood.
“Victory Dance,” the five-minute intro to the album, is a slow-build indication of what is to follow: pulsing, catchy, weird, sprinkled with a few well-placed guitar solos and choral “whoas” playing in the distant background. The result is a grandiose, yet appropriately unobtrusive beginning that leads straight into the album’s title track “Circuital,” which picks up without missing a beat, and is certainly a memorable track.
“Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” is the first of two lighter tracks that appear on the record, the latter being “Slow Slow Tune.” Don’t let that turn you off though. They serve as wonderful breaks between the more boisterous bits.
“Outta My System” is a personal favorite of mine mainly due to the straight-forward, pop punk-esque lyrics. It is strangely satisfying to hear a song that is anti-nostalgia. That never happens.
My Morning Jacket have added another solid album to their already impressive resume, filled to the brim with catchy hooks and all you’ve surely come to expect from this great band, who has officially become comparable to the greats in Southern American/Roots Rock, creating music that’s much more interesting and lovable than other current self-proclaimed heartland rock bands like Kings of Leon or Mumford & Sons are doing. I think we can comfortably go as far to say now that if the Coen Brothers made a sequel, the Dude would have had his MMJ tapes stolen from his car, and that’s a high bar to clear in my book.
7.9 / 10
Posted March 19, 2015, 6 p.m.
My Morning Jacket will release a new album, The Waterfall, on May 4 via ATO/Capitol Records. The album is their first in four years, seventh in total, and first ...
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