By My Morning Jacket
Ok, lets get it out of the way. The Flaming Lips. There, I said it. It's something My Morning Jacket are going to have to live with; people will always make comparisons. That is the most immediate and obvious one.
MMJ hail from Louisville in Kentucky, something perhaps given away by the occasional country tinged vocals and jangly guitars. Currently being hailed as "the next band you'll fall in love with" and having toured recently with Guided By Voices, Ben Kweller and Doves, the future looks bright for these 5 young chaps.
This 5 track EP is a nice introduction to the band, there's variation between the songs and "The Way That He Sings" alone should warrant further investigation. Gently sweeping along with it's reverb heavy vocal refrain, it's an uplifting, yet bittersweet tune, with a catchy melody. The guitar motif that comes along at the end helps finish things off on a bright note.
"Come Closer" is a beautiful ballad that caresses your ears with Jim James' voice on the verge of cracking with emotion it seems at times, "How long can you stay, I've been waiting all day, I've been melting away....just to be off with you" he croons before the floaty guitar and brooding harmonies lead us off into the chorus.
"O Is The One That Is Real" doesn't really capture you in the same way, a little more discordant. The drummer seems like he's trying to squeeze in every groove he knows and the main guitar riff is rather basic and gets annoying. Maybe that's the point and I just didn't get it. You'll either love it or hate it.
Whilst opener "Lowdown" gives the biggest nod toward TFL then closing track "Sooner" hints at a reggae influence, with acoustic guitar and percussion skipping along before the slide guitar almost takes you off to the Caribbean.
MMJ clearly enjoy exploring a variety of sounds, yet it's in the simplicity of tunes that their real strength lies. Basic, beautiful melodies and harmonised vocals are the essence of this band and if that's your bag then these boys are definitely worth investigating. No doubt they'll be adorning the cover CD's of many music mags in 2003 and MMJ are more than worth the cover price.