Chimpomatic

My Morning Jacket

Evil Urges

Rough Trade

Following 2005's stellar album Z, My Morning Jacket continue to forge forward, cutting their own path through modern music. From the opening song, this is an unusual album that will not fail to surprise any existing fan. With Joe Chiccarelli at the controls, many of the band's trademark sounds have been left behind and many more contemporary influences have been brought in, signaling an attempt to widen the band's appeal with a more 'modern' sound. Although here 'modern' seems to mean the 70's and 80's - rather than 60's.

Opener Evil Urges expands on some of the disco sounds that started to appear on Z, but with Jim James reverb heavy sound on the back burner the song opts for an unrecognisable vocal style, perhaps best described as 'Bee-Gees'. Touch Me I'm Going To Scream seems to unsuccessfully re-work the melody from Z's far superiors It Beats 4U, but the most unusual is yet to come.

There was a never a more apt song title than Highly Suspicious, as while the paranoid tale of 'British Bobbies' pounding down the door attempts to deal with the modern Big Brother society it unintentionally reduces the listener to a baffled state - with the multi-tracked vocals of "Highly Suspicious!" hollering over the pounding funk beat. As a band, My Morning Jacket have often been compared to Neil Young - and it's a comparison that is still apt here, but unfortunately the album in question would be Neil Young's misfiiring electronic effort of the early 80's - Trans. Like that record, the attempt to connect with a 'modern' audience has produced a record more out of touch than ever before.

It's hard to tell the reasoning behind this move, as Z was an outstanding improvement on an already outstanding sound. It was a huge step forward and in many ways a departure from their previous records, but there was a solid core to it that maintained everything there was to like about the band. Perhaps that record was such a success that the band saw no restrictions on moving even further forwards with this release - or that they were held back with Z and it was a record that didn't pay off. Only time will tell.

It doesn't all miss the target of course and even title song Evil Urges has the makings of a great track, let down by the affected vocals. Once you're past the bewildering few openers things do settle down, with the more familiar sound of I'm Amazed, Thank You Too or Look At You, although admittedly some of these tracks would only rate as standard fare on an album like It Still Moves. The Librarian is a pleasant enough song, but the lyrics are so screamingly cringe-worthy ("Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me") that it's hard to see past them - to what presumeably isn't just about Jim James falling for the plain jane who showed him how to use the 'interweb', but is in fact advice to be 'happy with the inner you'. And not end up like Karen Carpenter. While the bands lyrics have never been deep or profound, there was always a sense of something beneath the surface and the emotional delivery of songs like The Bear or Gideon left the listener with plenty to think about.

Things do get back to the level you would expect from this band towards the end, with Remnants and the prog rock vibe of Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Part 2. Smokin From Shootin' is the album's one truly spectaucular track, but it's too little too late, leaving a spotty success rate that is hardly equal to the numerous highlights of previous albums. This unique band have taken their music in a new direction and while it is still certainly a unique sound I'm afraid to say that at the moment it's a direction I'm unlikley to follow them down. In many ways this is still a good record, with plenty to reccomend it over much of the junk that passes for music these days, but next to much of the band's other work it pales in comparison. Maybe I'm just not ready for it yet, and my kids are going to love it.... but 25 listens in it still isn't clicking and I can't help but feel disappointed.


Links

My Morning Jacket
Wikipedia
Rough Trade

Tags

#CSF
#Music

6th Jun 2008 - Tumblr

3

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

My Morning Jacket

It Still Moves / Acoustic Citsouca / Z / Okonokos

Great Lake Swimmers

Lost Channels

My Morning Jacket

Astoria, London

Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes

Band of Horses

Scala, London

Dunkirk

Despite the good press, it's another shapeless, bloated one-dimensional rough cut from Christopher Nolan.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Doctor Strange

Ambitious CGI can’t save this bland comic book entry. Cumberbatch’s accent strikes the death blow.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Search

To The Bone

Unchallenging drama investigating life with eating disorders. Occasional Keanu Reeves.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Aug 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Moana

Flawless new-generation animation from Disney. Action, heart, comedy and very catchy songs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Aug 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Nocturnal Animals

Intense, terrifying, riveting thriller from Tom Ford. Great performances and assured direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Jul 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

The Girl With All The Gifts

Reasonable zombie drama. More rewarding than Walking Dead, but still a bit derivative.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Captive

Intense, borderline arthouse Canadian kidnap drama from Atom Egoyan. Ryan Reynolds impresses.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Jul 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Cake

Self-important, slightly contrived mainstream indie with the one with the good hair from Friends.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Song to Song

More clichéd Terrence Malick. Amazing cinematography. Meandering improv. Great real-world settings.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Jul 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Threads

Brutal 80s TV movie, imagining nuclear winter. Age has blended the stock footage to horrifying perfection.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jul 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Intern

Surprisingly charming, sentimental, old style movie with no need for an antagonist. Plus, solid DeNiro.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Jul 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Jack Reacher

Never Go Back

Serviceable action sequel that ticks a lot of boxes without thinking outside of any.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Jun 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Sing

Totally predictable, thoroughly inspiring animated sing-a-long for the X-Factor generation.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Jun 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Bad Moms

B-list, mis-cast, low-ball girl gang comedy. Weak.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Jun 2017

Read more 1.5 star reviews

War Machine

Catastrophically miscast black comedy that fails at every turn. Big let down from star and director.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Jun 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Absolutely Fabulous

Effortless retread of a show that survived well past it's sell-by date.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

29th May 2017

Read more 1.5 star reviews

Suicide Squad

Codswallop that's as indecipherable as every other recent DC movie. Terrible script, hammy acting.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd May 2017

Read more 1.5 star reviews

Another 48 Hours

Chaotic, bloated sequel. Low on humour and mostly involving bad guys flying through plate glass.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th May 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Ghostbusters

Lazy, half-baked remake/reboot, totally lacking in charm.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th May 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Daddy's Home

Wafer thin parenting parable, barely coasting along on the charm of Ferrell and Wahlberg.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th May 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Hell or High Water

Classic western tropes burn slowly to an intense finale. Classic Jeff Bridges.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th May 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Jason Bourne

Tired, pointless rehash of a franchise that long ran out of steam.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th May 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Gimme Danger

Stooges doc that is interesting by default, but dull given that Jim Jarmusch is behind the camera.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Apr 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

One More Time With Feeling

Poingiant doc of the latest Bad Seeds album. Still falls into the usual making-of box.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Apr 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Captain Fantastic

Stylish, thought-provoking indie contemplating the weighty responsibilities of parenthood.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Apr 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

The Fugitive

Great 90s blockbuster, with Harrison Ford carrying the movie on top finger-wagging form.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

18th Mar 2017

Read more 5 star reviews

Demolition

Accomplished character piece. Almost stretches itself a bit thin, but it's stylish enough to transcend.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

18th Mar 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Garden State

Dated indie classic that uses music to create pseudo-sentimental highs of little real substance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

18th Mar 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Supersonic

Engaging, nostalgic doc which meanders through the rise and rise of 1995’s greatest band ever.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Mar 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Drugstore Cowboy

Quintessential Gus Van Zant. Great art direction, acting and photography. Possibly better with age.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Mar 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Confident indie comedy-thriller that pitches itself perfectly.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Mar 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Still Life

Thoughtful character study, with Eddie Marsan standing up for those who slip through the cracks.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Feb 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Lego Batman Movie

Brutally fast paced meta-fest, backed up by the most sensible bat-plot for a long time.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Feb 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Money Monster

Tenuous financial hostage thriller, that doesn't add up to the sum of its parts.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Feb 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Green Room

Disappointing punk rock horror thriller, that doesn't make the best of its left field set up.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

9th Feb 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

Lethal Weapon

Potentially forgettable buddy cop pic, elevated by a killer script and live wire performances.

Halliwell says: Extremely violent policier which caters to the Rambo crowd but has enough pizazz to recommend it to most classes.*


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

1st Feb 2017

Read more 4.5 star reviews

Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Accomplished, charming NZ indie comedy that wears its influences well.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Feb 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Raiders

The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

Inspiring doc about the kids remaking Raiders over 7 summers.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Jan 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Beatles

Eight Days a Week

Inspiring reminder of the sheer volume of trail blazing laid down by The Beatles.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Jan 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Goonies

Seminal kids movie that I underrated in '85. Shot with an easy pace, until the free-swim at the end.

Halliwell says: The bottomless pit of the Spielberg genre, a silly tale which takes forever to get going and is acted by children who have not studied elocution. The trick effects when they come are OK, but it's a long annoying haul to that point.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

22nd Jan 2017

Read more 3.5 star reviews

A Bigger Splash

Glacially paced, pretentious arthouse fluff, that fritters away a potentially interesting set up.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Jan 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Our Kind of Traitor

Unremarkable potboiler from Le Carre, with a disappointingly bland turn from Ewan McGregor.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Jan 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Carol

Small scale period drama, anchored around strong central performances.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Jan 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

10 Cloverfield Lane

Ambitious small scale sci-fi that drags a bit before it all gets a bit wacky.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Jan 2017

Read more 3 star reviews

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino zeros in on the most-tedious-film-ever award. Someone get the guy a new editor.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Jan 2017

Read more 2 star reviews

Joy

Inventive ensemble drama, as David O. Russell takes another shot at Scorsese's crown. Great soundtrack too.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Jan 2017

Read more 4 star reviews

Batman vs Superman

Dawn of Justice

Mind-boggling, convoluted actioner that seems to have been written by picking ideas out of a hat.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Jan 2017

Read more 1 star reviews

Captain America

Civil War

Extended super hero punch up, not dissimilar to the news man brawls of 'Anchorman'.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Jan 2017

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Jungle Book

Seamless CGI remake, lacking in humour and executed with the seriousness of LOTR or Apocalypse Now.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2016

Read more 3.5 star reviews

When Harry Met Sally

Text-book rom-com that rebooted the genre and set the template for the next 3 decades.

Halliwell says: Over a period of 12 years, a couple meet occasionally to debate whether there can be friendship without sex between a man and a woman.***


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF
#Halliwell

26th Dec 2016

Read more 4.5 star reviews