My Morning Jacket - Circuital
Right away I have to come clean and say that I've never been a huge fan of My Morning Jacket. I particularly dislike them when they get into their drawn-out jam band mode. That's the bias with which I approach their new album Circuital, out May 31st.
The band caught me off-guard right away with the thunderous rumble of "Victory Dance". The album standout, "Holdin On To Black Metal", continues the ominous vibe, this time melding it with unexpected horns and backing vocals as it occupies every corner of sound.
There has always been a melodic side to MMJ, and that hasn't gone away. "Outta My System", "The Day Is Coming", and the mid-tempo frolic "First Light" all demonstrate that.
While southern rock grit does seep into cuts like the title track, the band does a good job of showing restraint. On several occasions things could have devolved into the extended jam snore-fests of the past. The fact that it doesn't is a tribute to a band that's moving beyond their own cliches.
Nearly all of these songs are solid, if not exceptional. The only failure among the lot would have to be the album closer "Movin Away", a dull waltz which see many of the traits I dislike about My Morning Jacket creeping back into the mix.
Overall though, as a traditionally non-MMJ fan, I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Circuital.
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