Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Jim James - "Regions Of Light And Sound Of God"

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James issues his first proper solo album, Regions Of Light And Sound Of God, today on ATO Records.  As MMJ has gotten stranger (in a good way) and has further veered off from their Southern Rock path, Jim James has set his sights on an even more intimate and experimental “futuristic-soul” sound on the album that he wrote, produced and played all himself at his home in Louisville. 
The nine-track album opens with the piano-led “State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” and its funk-rock rhythm and a syncopated vocal cadence on the chorus.  Excellent first single, “Know Til Now” follows with a stuttering hip-hop inspired beat and a trippy atmosphere along with Jim’s rafters-reaching falsetto.  Standout track “Dear One” features a playful keyboard melody as a hazy wall of sound and a fuzzed-out guitar compete for space.  The new single, “A New Life” is a sentimental and soulful ballad with a swinging, doo-wop bent.  The instrumental, “Exploding” is not as combustible as its title suggests but blooms into a short, introspective mid-album moment.  “Of The Mother Again” opens with some chiming, Chinese sounding keyboards until a slinky guitar figure and a strutting rhythm collide.  Another standout, “Actress” features a soaring vocal melodies and a string section that glides over and above the contrasting bursts of distorted guitars.  “All Is Forgiven” is uplifting and soul-searching and is host to Jim’s best and most dynamic vocal performance on the album.  The album closes with the Martin Luther King, Jr. referencing and Marvin Gaye-inspired “God’s Love To Deliver” and its hypnotic melodies. 
A lot of times solo albums tend to be a little too experimental and all over the place, but the debut solo album from Jim James does not disappoint and is a cohesively strong album with one foot in the future and one in the past.

Stream “Know Til Now” here:  http://soundcloud.com/jim_james/know-til-now/s-49BqD     
 For more info: http://jimjames.com/            


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