That My Morning Jackets frontman Jim James finally got a round for a solo album release is hardly a surprise. He’s already pursued it once under his Yim Yames alias, worked with several artists including Bright Eyes and M. Ward; leaving a wide footprint on contemporary indie rock all on his own. He’s without a doubt a versatile artist, yet it surprised me just how far from MMJ’s psy rock sound he managed to travel on Regions.
My chief concern with the latter part of the MMJ discography was the fact that although they released consistent record, they didn’t explore enough new ground. This is where Regions get really exiting. Still deeply rooted in American music traditions, Jim James doesn’t seem constrained to stick to the same formula as a large traditional rock band. He’s not attempting to feel contemporary; on the contrary his aim is to feel like the sound “came from a different place in time” and “perhaps sounding as if it were the past of the future”.
This makes a lot of sense upon hearing the record. Jazz and soul may’ve laid the groundwork, but the real triumph is the way he succeeds at fitting a complex multitude of genres in one cohesive template. It’s progressive, yet traditional; pushing out in all imaginable directions delivered with a confidence that only an experienced musician like James can pull off.
- Jim James – Know Til Now (ifoundmusic.com)
- Jim James – A New Life (ifoundmusic.com)
- Album Review: Regions of Light and Sound of God by Jim James (louisvillescuttlebutt.wordpress.com)