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Rollingstone and Arbiter reviews

Started by thebigbang, Sep 08, 2003, 02:01 pm

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My Morning Jacket: It Still Moves

Brian Mayer
A&E Editor
The Arbiter
September 08, 2003

Almost everyday here at The Arbiter, I receive compact discs from all over the world with all types of music, and it usually does nothing for me. I usually end up putting them on a stack of things I'll never listen to. This may seem kind of shallow, but everything I receive here usually comes with a press release touting the artist's brilliance, and how they are the next "big thing," which is usually light years from the truth. However, last Thursday was a very different day; only one brown package sat in my dusty mailbox, I opened it and was surprised to find the new release by My Morning Jacket. I tossed all the press and junk aside and decided to not get any impressions except for the ones I write as I listen.

Think Neil Young, but also think that this is yours. It has touches of country and southern styled rock, but don't be fooled. The music is very progressive, and hauntingly beautiful. Less like a broken heart and more like a hangover. A whiskey soaked daydream, with cigarette smoke, and quiet frustration. It is all wrapped with rich textures and great vocal harmonies. It sounds like an album of rock veterans, but no member of this group is over the age of 25.

It Still Moves is the third album by this Shelbyville, KY group, and their first for a major label. MMJ, is one of the most exciting bands today, in a relatively short time they went from a small indie to signing with Dave Matthews' ATO records, a subsidiary of RCA. One of their strong points, beyond great songwriting and a great new record, is their live performances. They make watching rock and roll exciting in that way other previous generations might describe seeing Led Zeppelin, or Johnny Cash. They are on tour now and hopefully sometime soon will stop by our fair town, in the meantime I will still be moved.

My Morning Jacket It Still Moves (ATO/RCA)

Inside the oceanic reverb that soaks every twang and sigh on It Still Moves, the third album by the Louisville, Kentucky, quintet My Morning Jacket, is a first-class acid-country Radiohead swimming slowly to the surface. The group's lack of hurry can be exasperating; some songs seem to take days to hit chorus pay dirt (the swollen-pain refrain in the Day-Glo crawl "Master Plan") and guitar-jam daylight (the midsection of "Run Thru"). But Jacket mastermind Jim James, the band's vocalist-songwriter-producer, knows the difference between wasting time and warping it, although he sings a lot about being fogged in by liquor and hopelessness. "I Will Sing You Songs" is a long bath of rolling-tide guitars, cymbal splashes and James' liquid-silver hallelujah -- Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" via Smile-era Brian Wilson. And there is a sharp, Southern-barbecue tang to the brass behind the '68-Fillmore-dream guitars in "Easy Morning Rebel." My Morning Jacket are going nowhere fast -- but in all the right ways. (David Fricke)

Just a Heartbreakin' Man, doing a Victory Dance with Shaky Knees, along a Bermuda Highway