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Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God

February 10, 2013

Jim JamesI have been writing this blog for over a year now.  For the most part my posts are album reviews. My goal is to share with readers why I like an album and why I think they should give it a listen.  I don’t recall that I have written a bad review.  Not because I am Pollyanna, but because I don’t want to waste my time on music I don’t like.

My biggest challenge is trying to figure out why I like an album.  This Jim James is a great example – I absolutely love it and I can’t exactly explain why.  But I will try.

First of all I like My Morning Jacket (MMJ) and I especially like how MMJ has evolved to a more pop and funky sound.  Jim James voice is so distinctive it is hard not to think of MMJ when listening to this release.  This album fits nicely and unobtrusively with the rest of the MMJ catalog.

But it is a Jim James release – according to the album credits he wrote, arranged and played most of the instruments.  It does have a slightly different flavor to it than an MMJ release.  If MMJ is taking you coffee black, this release is with cream and sugar. The album is a bit more mellow and contemplative that MMJ.  Real strings sweeten most tracks.  When it rocks like on “A New Life” you can imagine Roy Orbison covering this song.  At times the album evokes John Lennon solo ballads.  The arrangements are complex, but support the songs – never overshadowing.  When you look back at early MMJ, Jim James hid in the mix like Michael Stipe used to in early R.E.M. releases – like Stipe, James has come front and center as he has his career has progressed.  James’ voice is fully featured on this release.  There are some really cool sounds on this album, for example “All Is Forgiven” has Led Zeppelin/middle eastern feel.

I picked this album up this past Tuesday and I have listened to at least twice a day since then.  With each hearing I like it more.  This album has already reserved a spot on my 2013 top-ten list.  My only complaint is that the album clocks in at about 38 minutes and every time it comes to an end, I wanting more.


From → Music Reviews

  1. To me, “Sound of God” is any Jimi Hendrix music!

  2. Patrick Nau permalink

    Jim–You are a great musical wordsmith!! I enjoy your posts. Next stop Rolling Stone. Seriously
    you deserve a national audience.

  3. Just passed this review onto my son (Big Earl). He’s a big fan of JJ and MMJ. I have also turned him onto your blog. Banging your drum. He agreed with your review.

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