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My Morning Jacket: Circuital
My Morning Jacket made a huge stylistic shift on 2005’s Z, swapping tripped out Americana rock for full-on Technicolor space rock. The Jacket continued this trajectory on 2008’s Evil Urges, a genre-jumping rock album whose tracks frontman Jim James described as “levels in a video game.” With Circuital, James and his cohorts return to the mellower, almost roots-vibe of their early years but filter those sounds through the sonic experiments of the band’s most recent releases. Though the strangely infectious falsetto vocal showcase “Holding on to Black Metal” and future live jam “First Light” are sure to be festival set pleasers, Circuital largely circumvents the guitar-heroics and modern rock hooks that helped propel My Morning Jacket onto the amphitheatre circuit (and closer to middle-of-the-road AOR radio play, some might argue). Instead, the album is filled with more cerebral headphone moments like the slow-building “Victory Dance,” the ode to sobriety “Outta My System” and the simple, elegant folk song “Wonderful (The Way I Feel).” The notion of change is not lost on the band and James sings “Spinning out gracefully/goin’ nowhere quickly/I am older day-by-day…but still goin’ back to my childhood way” on the album’s seven-minute title track. On Circuital the members of My Morning Jacket may not have completely returned to their childhood ways but they have recaptured the art-rock spirit of their lean, lo-fi years.
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