(Photo Credit: Austin Nelson)
Album Review - My Morning Jacket: My Morning Jacket (October 22, 2021)
Indie rock legends My Morning Jacket (MMJ) are back with their ninth studio album, their first new studio music in six years. The new self-titled was produced over two multi-week sessions by enigmatic frontman Jim James. James has high hopes for the release as he said via press release: “I hope this album brings people a lot of joy and relief, especially since we’ve all been cooped up for so long...I know that feeling you get from driving around blasting music you love, or even lying in bed and crying to the music you love. The fact that we’re able to be a part of people’s lives in that way is so magical to us, and it feels really good that we’re still around to keep doing that.”
In these uncertain times, its refreshing to have the return of new material from established acts like MMJ. While they did release last year's The Waterfall II, that album was made up of session music from the Grammy nominated The Waterfall. Though, we will take whatever we can get from MMJ. The album begins with singles "Regularly Scheduled Programming" and "Love Love Love" neither of which appears as an atypical MMJ song. It isn't until the third track "In Color" that I feel the band let's loose with their more psychedelic infused sound that fans have come to know and love. Track "Least Expected" tends to fuse those psychedelic influences with MMJ's signature alternative country sound. On "Complex" the band kicks it up a notch with distorted guitars and James' signature vocals, making for a track that's sure to get you moving. The album reaches it's apex with "Out of Range Pt. 2" and "Penny for Your Thoughts".
We listened to My Morning Jacket more than we listen to the average album for review purposes. Part of this was because we were trying to decide where the self-titled released fit in the band's complex discography. We wondered how fans of the band react to this new album, with it's familiar, yet different sound? We have to admit, the more we listened, the more we enjoyed what we heard. It was sitting listening near the end of the closing track "I Could Never Get Enough" while thinking of what to write about the album that we decided that My Morning Jacket is a worthy successor of the eight albums that preceded it from Louisville, Kentucky's own.
Rating - 5/5