My Morning Jacket releases ‘Evil Urges’ |

My Morning Jacket releases ‘Evil Urges’

When My Morning Jacket first appeared a decade ago, they were lumped into the jam band style of Americana folk rock, the style popularized by groups like the Grateful Dead and Phish.

The band’s first couple of albums proved that that was for sure the kind of music they wanted to make. The proof of that shows as their first three albums came as a breath of fresh air into a genre that has become increasingly stale and repetitive over the years.

This is one band that does not rest on their past successes, though and their album Z proved that they could do the prog-rock thing too.

Some were even touting them about as the American version of Radiohead. With Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket is changing up their sound once again and this time they become almost unrecognizable. Instead of adopting the alternative country or the sonic experimentalism of their earlier work, they combine the two and add a splash of 70’s funk as well. If that sounds weird to you, you’re right: it is weird at first.

The band’s strongest attribute is lead singer Jim James’ amazing voice. He has one of the most comforting and warm singing voices around, but to hear him channeling Prince with a spot on falsetto is strange at first. As with most albums that defy genre expectations, this one will grow on you. There are enough old school MMJ songs here to satisfy older fans as well. All in all this could be one of the most interesting albums this year and it definitely cements their position as one of the best American bands, period.

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