Evil Urges (2008)
|Artist: My Morning Jacket|
|"There's a theme of moral confusion that runs through the whole record," says Jim James, frontman of My Morning Jacket, explaining the title of the band's new album, Evil Urges. "The world today is such a confused place. Things that people think are good values are obviously twisted, but there are other things considered evil that obviously aren't. There is real evil out there, but Evil Urges is about how all of these things that you've been told are evil really aren't, unless they're actually hurting something or somebody."|
It's ambitious territory for the group's fifth full-length studio album, and it's matched by the most far-ranging, surprising, and satisfying sounds of their career. From the freak-funk electro-slam of "Highly Suspicious" to the contemplative "Sec Walkin'," which could almost be a Nashville standard, on Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket display the scope and fearlessness that demonstrates their growth into one of the world's great rock & roll bands.
Album Notes and Credits
Notes & Personnel Info
|Audio Mixer: Michael Brauer.|
|Photographer: Autumn de Wilde.|
|While My Morning Jacket began experimenting outside of its signature alt-country/classic-rock sound on 2005's Z, little could have prepared fans for the stylistic shifts apparent on EVIL URGES. Frontman Jim James channels Prince on the slinky opening title track, and the album branches out in a number of directions from there, with prog-rock angularity ("Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 1") and breezy `70s pop ("Sec Walkin'") all added to the mix. On EVIL's biggest curveball, the unabashedly silly "Highly Suspicious," the Kentucky-based group seems to have wandered in Ween territory (not a huge stretch since both acts are neo-jam bands), with James squealing about a "peanut-butter pudding surprise" before a comically terse chorus.|
|Although the blatant absurdity and over-the-top musical detours may dishearten some MMJ diehards, URGES still features moments that evoke the ensemble of old--"I'm Amazed" is a bright Southern-tinged anthem, and "Librarian" is a gentle acoustic ode to the bookish profession. Listeners will undoubtedly debate whether My Morning Jacket's newfound eccentric and eclectic aesthetic is a virtue or a liability, but, regardless, this approach makes for an inarguably bold and adventurous outing.|
Producer: Jim James; Joe Chiccarelli
|Release Date : 06/10/2008|
|Original Release Date : 2008|
|Catalog ID : 21626|
|Label : ATO (USA)|
|Number of Discs : 1|
|Studio/Live : Studio|
|Mono/Stereo : Stereo|
|SPAR Code : n/a|
|UPC : 00880882162627|
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "EVIL URGES explodes the bands sound with the same kind of creative leap that Wilco took on YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT and Radiohead took on KID A."
- Ranked #4 in Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums Of 2008 -- "[EVIL URGES] took My Morning Jacket's pigeonhole-dodging style to wild and crazy new lengths..."
- 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "James and Broemel conjure the sublime guitar duels of Television....EVIL URGES is easily MMJ's mos accomplished and ambitious record, masterfully sifting through genres."
- 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir latest pays tribute to '70s US radio with expertly-crafted homages to country-pop, heartland rock and blue-eyed soul."
- 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he catchiest and most perverse thing this band has ever done, adding to the spacey, sensuous art-pop of 2005's Z with the muscular guitar mysticism MMJ bring to their live shows."
- "[I]t's not only an intrepid, cinematic, genre-transcending journey but moreover, a coherent tour de force."
- Ranked #27 in Clash's "The 40 Best Albums of 2008" -- "It's an altogether lovely album, and you don't get much better voices than Jim James' soaring range..."
BioMy Morning Jacket
In a perfect world, bios would be unnecessary. Instead of those often peculiar, occasionally vaguely helpful written pieces purporting to tell a band's story, a clear sense of the way things actually happened, which often doesn't fit into neat story-size chunks, might emerge.
My Morning Jacket, for example, lost in their line-up a while back their life-long friends Johnny Quaid and Danny Cash. The two original members just decided they didn't want to spend their time working in a band heavily on the road. The remaining members -- singer-guitarist and songwriter Jim James, bassist Two-Tone Tommy, and drummer Patrick Hallahan -- didn't really know which direction to proceed: to go on as a three-piece, to look for new members, or to stop altogether...but some force kept urging them on, so they started looking around for new members. They found keyboardist Bo Koster, and guitarist Carl Broemel. My Morning Jacket talked to some other people, but the band kept coming back to Koster and Broemel, the first two musicians they met with. Things really flowed there. "We loved them immediately," says James. "It was like the band was its own force, wanting itself to go on, even down to finding these two people."