Evil Urges

The new My Morning Jacket album is quite a shock. It’s… I’m not sure I like it much. I spent the first half of the album looking at the CD player in puzzlement, and spent the second half relieved some of the album is great. “Highly Suspicious” will easily go down as their worst song ever. Cringeworthy singing, awful lyrics, and stilted funk. The world only needs one Ween, thanks. Clearly they wanted to experiment, and I always applaud that. The techno break in the middle of “Run Thru” from the It Still Moves album was exciting. The complex drum structure of “It Beats 4 U” from Z was a great leap forward (which they reuse here in “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 1”). But, Jim James, who has one of the best voices in rock, needs to quit his weird 70s disco/funk Prince falsetto fetish. The first song I had heard from Evil Urges was “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt. 2”, and Jim James’ vocals and the driving rhythm is by far the highlight of the album. It sounds finally like what they were reaching for the whole album. The title track, which starts the album promisingly, has a bit of funk/reggae they introduced on Z. But, the whole midsection, starting with “I’m Amazed” is boring, safe AOR, pretty and pretty vacant if you ask me (just look at that song title). Starting with the weird, yet pretty string-laden “Librarian”, the album goes back into more familiar artistic territory, and the rest of the album sounds more like My Morning Jacket. They’ve had 4 fantastic albums, each progressively more interesting and artistic than the last. I guess they do have the cache to fuck around a bit. I just wish the results were better.

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