Author Topic: Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges  (Read 9538 times)

johnnYYac

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Eight years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« on: Jun 09, 2013, 11:01 AM »
Today, June 10, 2014, is the 6-year anniversary of the release of Evil Urges. 

Edit: Today is June 10, 2016, the 8-year anniversary of Evil Urges.

I had become aware of the existence of My Morning Jacket just 36 days earlier (on SNL).  It was enough time for me to accumulate much of their back catalog (a la Stan from American Dad) and realize EU's place in the MMJ discography.  It was a departure from the kind of guitar-driven songs we loved from It Still Moves and Z.  It buffed the polish applied during Z to a sometimes unnatural shine.  But, still, some gems game forth and my live experiences with MMJ only exist post-EU, so no since lamenting missed opportunities.

Many will hem and haw, argue and whine, as to which MMJ album deserves top billing.  At Dawn?  It Still Moves? Z?  And second place might go to one of those or Tennessee Fire.  Few would put EU or Circuital near the top, so perhaps a better angle of view is from the bottom.

I haven't heard a "bad" MMJ studio album, but I'd have to say EU settles near the bottom, fighting for last place with Circuital.  Both have great moments, but lack the greatness or historical relevance of the other four LPs.

But let us not forget...

Smokin' From Shootin', which I can no longer listen to on the LP without expecting the Run Thru add-on!

Evil Urges, with that great drum-roll intro.  Its a great opener and now that its rare, I look forward to it.

I'm Amazed might be too mainstream for its own good, but makes for a great bluegrass song! < yeah, click the link!

Remnants and Aluminum Park remind us that MMJ still makes loud, guitar-driven rock.

Highly Suspicious is aptly named.  It took some time before we could accept Jim's venture into Prince's territory, the EU equivalent of Black Metal for weird and out of place.

Librarian, the first MMJ tune my wife liked, which makes it a very valuable track.  I like it, too.

When Jim and Carl played Look at You at an Obama campaign free concert half an hour from my house, it was as if the song was written for that moment.

And, last but not least, Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2, the catalyst for my Omnichord obsession, a song that captures so many aspects of MMJ's sound in one track.  "Its a trip, man"

I know I left out Thank You Too, Two Halves, Touch Me 1, and Sec Walkin'.  I don't like them that much. 

Thoughts?
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EverythingChanges

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #1 on: Jun 09, 2013, 01:56 PM »
Underrated album by the forum IMO.

To me, if the album left out some of the redundant middle filler tracks, and in their place, put more melancholic foreboding tunes to build on SFS and TM Pt. 2's atmosphere, it would probably be my favorite album from them.  However, Look At You and Thank You Too are some of my favorite MMJ songs.

Some of my all-time favorite MMJ lyrics are:

Who makes my decisions?
Who reads all your thoughts?
What makes us how we are?
Faith can't prove what science won't resolve

Kumbaya my Lord
C'mon, row your boat ashore
The river's long, it is cold
It chills the body but not the soul, oh   

Damn!

My passion in music stemmed from Pink Floyd, and thus, I fell in love with the concept album.  To me, EU is the closest MMJ has ever been to creating an album based around a centralized theme: 'love'.  The title track hits this idea early on from the equality standpoint:

It's all the same, we're tired of waiting, come on then
And dedicate your love to any woman or man
No racial boundary lines, no social subdivisions
If you want it, you can

This theme is further fortified on both Touch Me I Am Going To Scream tracks, where the band delves into the more intimate form of love.  These lyrics are full of oddity, but they convey this sense of deep compassion:

I need a human right by my side, untied, untied
I need a human right by my side, untied, untied
I need a human right by my side, untied, untied

I can't help but feel chills every time I hear that part loud in the car.

Another key track, although the forum seems to hate it, is Librarian.  It further expands on the intimate idea of love.  It even takes it a step further, by portraying a love-struck man who stalks a beautiful librarian. 

'Cause everything'd be great and everything'd be good
If everybody gave like everybody could

The above lyrics explain that the world would be a better place if we could all just learn to love one another.

Also, I love how Smokin flows into Touch Pt. 2.  It carries that wonderfully melancholic sound over to the next track without stopping.

The album ender (?), Good Intentions, raises speculation.  Perhaps it serves to remind the listener to love, hence its "good intentions".
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touchingmept2

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #2 on: Jun 09, 2013, 03:44 PM »
I see EU as MMJ delving into a different style. Sort of coming away from the hippie-esque vibes and venturing into more of a modern style. It was released on my bday, so that's special to me. I saw the band for the first time when they toured on EU, so that's how I was introduced to their live machine.

I think it would have been great to have had the chance to catch them a few years earlier, but that doesn't necessarily take away from the great experience I've had getting to know this band. Evil Urges was and still is an awesome record, especially for that space in time when it was made.
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Waddy Peytona

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #3 on: Jun 09, 2013, 04:40 PM »
I would dearly love to hear the infamous Evil Urges demos.

danimal

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #4 on: Jun 09, 2013, 09:50 PM »
My passion in music stemmed from Pink Floyd, and thus, I fell in love with the concept album.  To me, EU is the closest MMJ has ever been to creating an album based around a centralized theme: 'love'.  The title track hits this idea early on from the equality standpoint:


If everybody gave like everybody could

The above lyrics explain that the world would be a better place if we could all just learn to love one another.

Also, I love how Smokin flows into Touch Pt. 2.  It carries that wonderfully melancholic sound over to the next track without stopping.

The album ender (?), Good Intentions, raises speculation.  Perhaps it serves to remind the listener to love, hence its "good intentions".

All of this! 

I agree that it plays as a concept album of sorts.  Once I started really hearing the lyrics, I too thought there seemed to be a thread running through.  I dig it.

manonthemoon

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #5 on: Jun 09, 2013, 10:38 PM »
I must say this album has grown on me, but has always seemed to have a few songs I love like SFS, PT2, Pt1, remants and then some of the worst songs of the entire catalouge with sec walkin and two halves.  I'm Amazed I used to hate and still don't love it on the album, but when its played live I love the song, but that's probably due to the riffs at the backend of the song more and a song that I always love to hear live.  Highly suspicious I have always enjoyed, but can see why some people don't like it.  Overall it was a more expansive album, but IMO still near the bottom just above Cicurital as the lowest of the band's efforts.
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buymycar

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #6 on: Jun 10, 2013, 12:50 AM »
An anagram for Evil Urges is Live Surge.

weeniebeenie

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #7 on: Jun 10, 2013, 08:29 AM »
I still really love EU. I don't think that there is any song in particular that I don't like or would skip. Each one makes me think of something different and I think it's a really diverse MMJ album. You could pick out any song and happily fit it into another MMJ album but they all really go together well.
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Crispy

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #8 on: Jun 10, 2013, 10:12 AM »
An anagram for Evil Urges is Live Surge.

 
Another one is Glee Virus
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Fully

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Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #9 on: Jun 10, 2013, 10:53 AM »
An anagram for Evil Urges is Live Surge.

 
Another one is Glee Virus
Vile Surge

Fully

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Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #10 on: Jun 10, 2013, 10:55 AM »

buymycar

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #11 on: Jun 10, 2013, 12:28 PM »

ManNamedTruth

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #12 on: Jun 10, 2013, 03:22 PM »
I know I've mentioned this many several times on the board, but why don't people like Thank You Too? The lyrics are heartfelt, the strings are beautiful and fit right in nicely, the guitar solo is very smooth and probably the best solo on the whole album. I'll even go as far as to say the guitar solo (although a little shorter than some are used to) is the most classically sounding MMJ thing on the whole album. On what was a perplexing album to me at first, I found an immediate comfort level with that song.
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ManNamedTruth

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #13 on: Jun 10, 2013, 03:59 PM »
My thoughts after 5 years are that I've excepted it for what it is and thankful for the songs that have become live staples. Many of these songs sound better live in general. Evil Urges, Thank You Too, Smokin' From Shootin', and Touch Me part 2 are my favorites. Two Halves is my least favorite. I could probably do without Librarian. I didn't like Highly Suspicious until i saw it live, I still cringe a little on the laugh he does on the album, it's a little awkward and creepy. I didn't care for Look at You until I heard what it was about and then it grew on me a little. I'm Amazed is good, not my favorite but don't dislike as much as most here. Remnants and Aluminum Park - Johnny referred to as the songs that remind us they still rock - to me seem like they just had to throw on some tracks that rocked more and kind of feel half-assed to me. Aluminum Park in particular sounds like a rehashing of What a Wonderful Man. I mainly blame the producer for the album's shortcomings. Maybe a different producer would've talked them into making a shorter/tighter album. It sounds over-produced and too polished to me. One example of a producer trying to do too much is on the title track, the deep backup vocals "i'm ready for it noooowwww" almost ruin an awesome song. The drums and bass sound a little heavy at times, I think Joe Chiccarelli wanted to make something that he thought would sound good on a good sound system. His predecessor John Leckie brought MMJ to their most psychedelic, multi-layered sonic heights with Z, and would've liked to see them work with him more.
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ManNamedTruth

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #14 on: Jun 10, 2013, 04:07 PM »
Here is another over-produced song brought to you by Joe Chiccarelli, I wonder where they got the idea to use omnichord!?

Minus the Bear - My Time (Official Music Video)
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justbcuzido

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #15 on: Jun 10, 2013, 07:11 PM »
I know I've mentioned this many several times on the board, but why don't people like Thank You Too? The lyrics are heartfelt, the strings are beautiful and fit right in nicely, the guitar solo is very smooth and probably the best solo on the whole album. I'll even go as far as to say the guitar solo (although a little shorter than some are used to) is the most classically sounding MMJ thing on the whole album. On what was a perplexing album to me at first, I found an immediate comfort level with that song.

This and I Will Sing You Songs are my two favorite Jacket songs. You are absolutely right that there is something so heartfelt in the lyrics. I think it's the only straight forward (as in no mystery to the lyrics) love song he has written. Furthermore, it's really the only non-bittersweet love song they have done. Which may make it simple in a sense that its so straight forward, but it's beautiful none the less.

As for the guitar solo, sometimes less is more. It kind of reminds me of the solo in "Something" by The Beatles. Both are short, smooth and not flashy, I think that they convey perfectly the sense of love the song is trying to deliver.

All in all I really love EU and it has grown on me much like Circuital has. Plus it being released on my birthday is a bonus!!
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buymycar

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #16 on: Jun 10, 2013, 10:01 PM »
I listen to the songs Jim wrote for the Monsters of Folk album and I wonder how they would sound if MMJ did them and how they would fit in on Evil Urges.

EverythingChanges

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #17 on: Jun 10, 2013, 10:03 PM »
I know I've mentioned this many several times on the board, but why don't people like Thank You Too? The lyrics are heartfelt, the strings are beautiful and fit right in nicely, the guitar solo is very smooth and probably the best solo on the whole album. I'll even go as far as to say the guitar solo (although a little shorter than some are used to) is the most classically sounding MMJ thing on the whole album. On what was a perplexing album to me at first, I found an immediate comfort level with that song.

This and I Will Sing You Songs are my two favorite Jacket songs. You are absolutely right that there is something so heartfelt in the lyrics. I think it's the only straight forward (as in no mystery to the lyrics) love song he has written. Furthermore, it's really the only non-bittersweet love song they have done. Which may make it simple in a sense that its so straight forward, but it's beautiful none the less.

As for the guitar solo, sometimes less is more. It kind of reminds me of the solo in "Something" by The Beatles. Both are short, smooth and not flashy, I think that they convey perfectly the sense of love the song is trying to deliver.

All in all I really love EU and it has grown on me much like Circuital has. Plus it being released on my birthday is a bonus!!

I agree with Thank You Too.
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el_chode

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #18 on: Jun 11, 2013, 08:50 PM »
Dear God, 5 years?


Rightfully at the bottom of the ranking list, wrongfully a bad album. The other releases are just better. Evil Urges is like the Wire. It starts out by blowing you away, then it nose dives into some boring shit you barely pay attention to and can really skip without missing much, then it gets real fucking raw all of a sudden and then blows you away with a solid finish and ends up legendary with an asterisk at the second season.


I remember it quite well; I was in my second semester of my first year of law school working some mediocre job on Market St Philly. My future wife and I were working on a long term relationship while I gave 110% in an attempt to transfer to a better school closer to home. I streamed the SXSW stream daily at work, marveled at the same experiences I had with Yo La Tengo but with a different song (Tom Courtenay for me, Jim tells a lovely story about Center of Gravity at that show), and just waiting - WAITING for the album to drop. Then it did. And as I'm driving home from my final final, I did my usual post-exam worry purge by blasting highly suspicious with the windows down and going directly to WaWa to get a smoked turkey shorti with extra banana peppers.
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MMPJ6306

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Re: Five years later... thoughts on Evil Urges
« Reply #19 on: Jun 27, 2013, 11:01 AM »
Since the album's release I've felt that Remnants and Aluminum Park are the worst songs on the album. Some of the tracks are undeniably good, and tracks 5-9 are understandably divisive but I like them because they're catchy and played around with soft rock and other "cheesy" sounds MMJ hadn't gone into before (you could also make the argument that this anticipated a huge trend in indie rock and pop going on right now).

Whereas Remnants and Aluminum are just kind of bland rockers on the album to balance all the softer and weirder songs, and we know the band can do much better things in that genre.
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