My Morning Jacket is a band out of Louisville, KY that plays pretty traditional southern-influenced psychedelic rock. They fit into the whole jam band scene and, not surprisingly perhaps, I have seen them at Bonnaroo more than once. Since their formation in 2000, they have been very busy and incredibly prolific, having released 5 studio albums, 3 live albums, 2 compilations, and a slew of EPs and singles. They have appeared at Bonnaroo, as I said, SXSW, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show (Leno), The Late Show (Letterman), and more. I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of them because they’re great and they work hard.
That said, you may not yet have picked up their newest studio album and today I am encouraging you to do so. “Evil Urges” came out in mid-2008 and it represents a further evolution in the band’s sound. Their major label debut, “It Still Moves,” was full of simple, good-time melodies, warm harmonies, and lots of reverb (vocals and guitar). “Z” boasted more complex percussion, some really interesting keyboard work, and more complex arrangements. “Evil Urges” has moved a little further away from their southern rock roots. They range around more, flashing a bit of funk here, some strings there, but generally attain a more mainstream rock sound.
There is a lot of great music on this album, but these are my favorites.
- Evil Urges – Some falsetto vocals and a lot of synthesizer wrap around a simple guitar hook. The chorus almost sounds like it could be Lenny Kravitz, but the powerful bridge is all their own.
- I’m Amazed – I am impressed with the production on this album and this song is a perfect example of why. The arrangement is not complicated, but the song is well mixed. The drums pop, the guitar and keys mesh for a powerful sound, the vocals swell. It’s very clean and it sounds great.
- Look at You – Well, at the live show, when they did this one people went to get a beer. It’s a sweet and pretty ballad, which often loses a crowd but on the disc it works really well. They handle this change of gears delicately, playing back on all the solos and nicely setting up the uplifting vocals.
- Touch Me I’m Going to Scream, Part 2 – This is probably my least favorite of these four, but it is a cool song with a great animated video.
You really can’t go wrong picking up any of the 3 albums I mention above. “Z” in particular is a brilliant album. My Morning Jacket won’t be at Bonnaroo this year, sadly. I would go see them yet again; their live show is not to be missed. Go see them if they come to your town.