Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Morning Jacket "Z" Best

Alrighty kids, it's August, and I've been reviewing my iTunes to see what I've been listening to this year. Many bloggers in the past month have posted their picks for the best albums to come out during the first half of 2006. I ain't doing that here, mainly because one of my favorite albums of this year came out last year. I am talking about 2005's "Z" by Kentucky's own My Morning Jacket. Composed of singer-guitarist and songwriter Jim James, bassist Two-Tone Tommy, drummer Patrick Hallahan, keyboardist Bo Koster, and guitarist Carl Broemel, My Morning Jacket has created an album of tracks worthy of repeated listenings from beginning to end. In this age of cds having only one or two good songs, that's no small feat.

I first heard of MMJ back in 2003 from a CD single for the song "One Big Holiday." It had a certain Allman Brothers, big guitar, classic rock feeling that is so sorely missing from the airwaves these days. Then at the beginning of the year I heard "Off The Record" on the radio (Thank you Indie 103.1). It's reggae tinged opening which eventually led into a moody jam caught my ear, and I was hooked. It was truly an original. Then I saw the band perform "Gideon" (another track from "Z") with the Boston Pops on Letterman. Rarely have I seen such a powerful performance on a late night talk show. There is no doubt from this performance that MMJ have what it takes to be mentioned in the same breath as U2, Phish, and Pearl Jam when it comes to performing live. Give it a viewing, and you will see exactly what I mean.

The following excerpt was taken from the band's web site:

'Z' is a 10-song collection that encompasses carefully wrought ballads such as "Wordless Chorus" and "Knot Comes Loose," multi-genre jams such as "Off the Record," silvery country-soul such as "Lay Low," and high-energy rockers such as "Anytime" and "What a Wonderful Man." Deliberately, emotionally, majestically, the collection concludes with "Dondante," a seven-minute piece that weaves together several singular Louisville-like blends of creativity and engagement, blues and elations. "Most of the songs," Broemel says, "are based on the sound of Jim's voice." Uncommonly passionate and blooming, it's the sound of someone who, in Leckie's words, "is always singing a duet with his reverb, which is the sixth member of the band." Broemel continues: "But I think we were also looking more rhythmically for ideas as the core of the songs, and maybe not having huge guitars on every song."

For James, the music on 'Z' continues My Morning Jacket's earliest goals.

"I've always wanted the music -- the rhythms, the strings, the guitar solos, everything -- to be just as important as the words. I've never wanted one thing to be the most important ingredient. I like to think of the band as something that's not really about any one person or any one thing. It's just this weird cloud that is all-encompassing in terms of what we all do to it." And 'Z' is, of course, for My Morning Jacket, not the end of the story."

My Morning Jacket is slated to release a live album later on this year entitled "Okonokos," and continues to build a rabid fan base while on tour with Pearl Jam. One of the great joys in life is to discover a new band who's music you've grown to love, then share it with others. Now you do the same. Buy the record, I'm just sayin'

For your consideration:

My Morning Jacket - Off The Record (Live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic) Mp3

My Morning Jacket - Gideon (Live from "Okonokos") Mp3


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! I can't wait for the album to come out!

Jamie Pichora said...