Author Topic: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges  (Read 9926 times)

Angela D Vice

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #60 on: Jul 26, 2016, 04:49 PM »
I find there are times I love certain albums more than others.  MMJ and Wilco are two of my loves but some albums were immediate favorites while others came to me in time.  I think it depends on your perspective and where your head is when you first hear it.

Shug, I've always loved I'm Amazed but decided earlier this year I was tired of it...  And then I heard it live in the Ville and I was sucked right back into loving it.

Murph

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #61 on: Jun 12, 2018, 12:42 PM »
10 Year anniversary bump...

https://www.stereogum.com/2000855/evil-urges-turns-10/franchises/the-anniversary/

Although I'm in the camp that loves EU (the author clearly does not) more than Circuital and The Waterfall, I thought this was a pretty good write up. 

rkwedge

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #62 on: Jun 12, 2018, 02:11 PM »
10 Year anniversary bump...

https://www.stereogum.com/2000855/evil-urges-turns-10/franchises/the-anniversary/

Although I'm in the camp that loves EU (the author clearly does not) more than Circuital and The Waterfall, I thought this was a pretty good write up. 
I read that too and I agree it's a pretty good write up. I have always liked EU but hearing it from start to finish at OBH4 really took it tp a new level for me. I think it was just because those nights were the history of this band we all love so much and it just seemed like it finally fit. Someone earlier in this thread said "Librarian" has no good lyrics, I beg to differ, "Another Lovely Victim of the Mirrors Evil Way" is pretty powerful IMO.
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ChiefOKONO

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #63 on: Jun 12, 2018, 02:18 PM »
Thanks for posting that... interesting read and a pretty fair assessment overall.  It is cool to look back at it now with that perspective.  I really liked the album at the time but now I can see a few of the tunes losing their luster.

I am looking forward to their next one and I really hope we hear some of the stuff they worked on during the Waterfall sessions too that didn't come out.

diddy57

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #64 on: Jun 12, 2018, 04:33 PM »
I love about 50 percent (Evil Urges, Touch Me 1 and 2, Smokin from Shootin, I'm Amazed), like another 30 (Thank You, Sec, Librarian, Look at You, Remnants), don't care for 20 (Highly Suspicious, Aluminum Park, Two Halves). And I know I should feel guilty not liking Highly Suspicious considering how many people seem to love it.

I have to like Librarian. My wife's a librarian. She says listening to it makes the job feel a little more sexy.

Oh, and I like the six seconds of Good Intentions.

 That's still a much higher batting average than most albums I listen to by other artists.

walterfredo

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #65 on: Jun 12, 2018, 05:41 PM »
don't care for (Aluminum Park).


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gardenparty

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #66 on: Jun 12, 2018, 06:59 PM »
Love EU but it certainly has a few clunkers. Two Halves, Sec Walking, Look at You

Highly Suspicious is not great on the album but it is one my favorites live

The DARK

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #67 on: Jun 13, 2018, 11:39 AM »
Man, has it been 10 years already? I guess I’ve been a fan for a long time, the wait for this felt like ages...

This album was a turning point if there ever was one. It was released around the time of rock and roll’s last gasp on the radio, back when Foo Fighters still held some commercial sway and people were excited about Pearl Jam’s back to basics phase. The buzzwords about this album going in were “breakthrough” and “experimental”, and while we did get a hit single and a handful of electronic/funk numbers, the rest of the album is full of low-key genre exercises and genuine kitsch. It alienated quite a few fans and certainly didn’t light the world on fire critically, enough that critics have been trying spin a “return to form” narrative ever since.

Mostly though, this is where we started to get to know the real Jim James. Before this, we knew him mostly as a bearded rocker with the voice of an angel and some offbeat, mysterious lyrics. Evil Urges was Jim’s first foray into straightforward songwriting, and it was jarring to hear him go from writing songs like Bermuda Highway and Wordless Chorus to Librarian and Two Halves. It was as jarring as dropping the reverb from the early albums, and unfortunately this was not the strongest set of songs to introduce this side of him with.

But for as direct as these new songs were, they were still genuinely weird, because Jim James is a genuinely weird, yet utterly sincere individual. Just take one look at Highly Suspicious. For so many artists out there, writing obliquely is an affectation or a crutch to cover up more serious songwriting flaws. Jim’s strange ideas and turns of phrase are an extension of his true self. Read any interview he’s done lately and you’ll realize his lyrics have never been about complicated ideas, but rather simple ones viewed through one hell of a poetic lens. And ever since Evil Urges he’s gotten better at honing that lens to the point that I think that his best work is still yet to come.
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Murph

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #68 on: Jun 13, 2018, 12:28 PM »
"Even though the songs themselves were uneven, this is the lasting, crucial gift Evil Urges gave MMJ and their fans: There weren’t really any rules after this"

He hit the nail on the head with that idea.  After EU I think I realized that I wasn't ever going to have any inclination as to what a MMJ album would sound like.  At that point you either sit back and take them as they come, which we all gladly do, or you jump ship

Cameron

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #69 on: Jun 13, 2018, 02:18 PM »
EU has a special place in my heart.  My wife gave birth to our oldest in March of 2008, just a couple weeks after SXSW.  The guys did a lot of shows and press that year at SX and we got to see them twice and then Jim solo (with carl and bo sitting in) once in just a few days.  Seeing him do Librarian for the first time in a church is still one of my favorite MMJ moments.  I also met Jim for the the first time that week at a Wax Fang show.  We talked for a few minutes and I got a picture and he was genuinely interested what I thought of the new stuff from the show the night before.  EU was the soundtrack in our house for a long time after it came out.

When they did EU at OBH this year it kind of took both of us back to the fear and excitement of having a new baby and not believing that that baby is now a beautiful 10 year old girl.

Cheers!

ChiefOKONO

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #70 on: Jun 13, 2018, 04:42 PM »
I have fond memories of seeing them in Louisville during what I think was the opening of the Evil Urges tour? 

Two Halves is one songs I don't really love and Look at You - people were saying it was a bit of a reference to Obama?  not sure if that is true but I also heard it was about his Grandmother?

Overall I liked it a bit more than Circuital and I ended up really loving Waterfall.

robb

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #71 on: Jun 13, 2018, 05:04 PM »
I have fond memories of seeing them in Louisville during what I think was the opening of the Evil Urges tour? 

Two Halves is one songs I don't really love and Look at You - people were saying it was a bit of a reference to Obama?  not sure if that is true but I also heard it was about his Grandmother?

Overall I liked it a bit more than Circuital and I ended up really loving Waterfall.

at OBH jim confirmed look at you was written about obama.
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Osistheones

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #72 on: Jun 13, 2018, 05:44 PM »
Look at You, Thank You Too and Two Halves are what I would cut. Shift some of the tracklist around and you have a fantastic LP. Still like it more than their last couple.

jttouch2

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #73 on: Jun 13, 2018, 08:04 PM »
Look at You, Thank You Too and Two Halves are what I would cut. Shift some of the tracklist around and you have a fantastic LP. Still like it more than their last couple.
The fantastic LP is a good point, I'd take EU (my least favorite MMJ album) over nearly every other album from any other artist. The "misses" are better than most bands successes.

Brother Beck

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Re: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #74 on: Jun 13, 2018, 09:53 PM »
Evil Urges has some absolutely incredible songs on it.  It has one song - Smokin From Shootin - that could possibly be my favorite MMJ song, and at the very least is absolutely on my short short list.  It definitely has a few tracks that I don't care for, but for any other band, an album that has what could possibly be my favorite song by them and an album that I love 64% of would be really damn great. 

I still cannot sit down and listen to it all the way through, however.  For me, the highs are really damn high but the lows are really damn low.  It is too all over the place to be enjoyed by me all at once.  And a full decade later I still dislike Highly Suspicious as much as I did back then.  The background vocals kill it for me.  Parts of the song are undeniably fun as hell but other parts I cannot get over.  To me, that song would be the very definition of what a b-side should be. 

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that these guys have decided against including songs like Friends Again and Ready To Be Called On and How Could I Know on albums proper, but decided *for* Highly Suspicious.  If I had to do a ranking I suppose Evil Urges would be their 'worst' album, but I say any band should be DAMN proud to have an album like Evil Urges be their worst album.  Very excited for new music from Jim and really looking forward to the day we get new music from all of them together.