My Morning Jacket

Circuital

Written by: TL on 21/09/2011 23:09:10

A record that I've been wanting to review for quite some time is "Circuital" by My Morning Jacket - A band that I've been wanting to check out for even longer. Considering that this, the sixth LP from the American indie/country/rock quartet, is my first encounter with the band, their more established fans are justified in questioning why I'm the one reviewing it, but the truth is that in these parts (ie. on Rockfreaks.net) it's pretty much either me or nobody.

So, if you're like me and you haven't gotten into My Morning Jacket at this point, you'll probably have some of the same impressions as me coming into "Circuital". The first thing to cross my mind while listening is that these guys have likely played a major part in the long-lasting folk-obsession of Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes, considering how very similar the sound is to what Bright Eyes have been doing for a long while. The main difference, at least in my ears, is that MMJ aren't stripping things down to sound extra country, rather their thick soundscape is full of all kinds of extra sounds and instruments, all sounding perfectly hi-fi (Think Decemberists on "The Hazards Of Love") and layered on top of melodies made primarily with traditionally twangy guitars.

The album opens up with its strongest song "Victory Dance", which offers a wonderfully dark twist to their style, painting eerie pictures of indians dancing and chanting around a bonfire in my mind. The record is pretty well endowed in general though, not just with further highlights such as the soulful "Holdin' On To Black Metal", but with well-written, well-recorded - and more importantly - very recognisable songs in the likes of "Outta My System", "First Light" and "The Day Is Coming".

In fact, as I sit here listening while writing, I realize that there aren't really more than two or three songs on this disc that haven't piqued my interest one way or another. And this makes perfect sense, because the record seems to emit vibes of class and and maturity from every beat, breath and strum. Unsurprisingly, it sounds like the work of veterans, and while it's mostly a far too chilled out listen to blow many minds out there, it is easily worth recommending to anyone who can appreciate the subtleties of carefully written and expertly recorded slow music. All things considered, it's no wonder if Conor Oberst have been massively inspired by these guys.

8

Download: Victory Dance, Holdin' On To Black Metal, Outta My System
For The Fans Of: Bright Eyes, Ryan Adams, The Decemberists
Listen: facebook.com/mymorningjacket

Release Date 31.05.2011
ATO/Rough Trade/Spunk/EMI

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