When a friend recommends an album for listening and you have a hard time getting into the album, it’s easy to put the album away and think to yourself that you will just listen to the album later. When one of my coworkers recommended that I listen to and review the new album by My Morning Jacket, I committed to it completely before I had even heard a song on the album. Once I had decided to write the review, I had written the check — but could I cash it?
The first thoughts that passed through my mind while listening to the album was what attracted me to the possibility of listening to it in the first place. The lead singer, Jim James, is also in a band that I really like called Monsters of Folk — that is a so-called “super group” consisting of Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Jim James (who sometimes goes by Yim Yames for some reason), M. Ward who is in the darling She & Him amongst others, and Mike Mogis, also of Bright Eyes. They put out a brilliant folk album that blew my mind so completely that when my coworker mentioned to me that one of the people in the band I liked so much had a band of his own, I decided to give it a try.
Here is a song that I believe exemplifies the songs on this album pretty well. It is the title track from the album, Circuital.
It took a couple of listens to actually get into this song but it finally clicked for me and when it did it was an entirely new experience. For awhile I was listening to it and other songs on the album thinking, “What is this music?” I could not qualify it or classify it under any genre familiar to me. As I thought through this question, I listened to some of the lyrics of the song and was intrigued.
Where you can’t lose nothing
But nothing can be gained
The song itself is a thoughtful essay on how in life we often try to accomplish a goal but keep returning to the same starting place. There’s another song which I would like to call whimsical but sounds serious called “Holdin’ On To Black Metal” in which the singer calls out the praises of the music genre Black Metal. Rather amusing, especially in a song that is anything but black metal — when my coworkers put black metal music on in the background I can barely concentrate on how to properly breathe let alone do anything else.
The album is available both in hard formats (vinyl, cd) as well as digitally through vendors such as iTunes and the like. For a presumably limited time, the band is streaming the album for free on their myspace page.