Saturday, March 31, 2012

Final Grade: B-/B

So, I liked this album, but the first half was so much better than the latter, so I ended up getting bored.  This isn't going to deter me away from My Morning Jacket though, because there were definitely some tunes in here that I really liked.  Unfortunately for them, I think they started off with their best song, and therefore I wasn't nearly as satisfied with the rest of the tunes.  They overdid the country thing a little bit for my taste, but that might just be their steeze.  I'm interested to hear how they sound now, as this album is 4 years old and I'm sure they've evolved since then.  Decent, but I've heard better.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Smokin from Shootin

Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt 2

Songs of the Day

Smokin from Shootin:  Maybe it's just because I'm wearing headphones, and it is therefore right in my ears, but I'm not really into the muted bass sixteenths going on here.  It makes me feel like my hearts beating too fast, and in turn makes me feel a little paranoid.  I might have to listen to this in my car and make a real assessment for myself.  Anyway, this is an okay track.  I think it's a little too plain, especially in the beginning.  Patrick Hallahan could be doing something a little more interesting on the drums, and I think they've overused the mellow slide guitar sound throughout the album - it's just a little corny for my taste.  I like that the groove builds and continues to get heavier as the groove goes on.  I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not the biggest fan of Jim James voice.  I don't always mind it, but sometimes in kind of gets in the way, not too, too much though.  I do really like the groove it builds into at the end, I would have liked to hear more of that.  So, we're riding a tornado into the next track?  That's what it sounds like...kinda cool though.

Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt 2:  Parts one and two are very different from one another - I prefer "Part 1."  The beginning groove kind of sounds like it's straight out of Super Mario, and I don't know if I'm into it or not.  It's kind of cool, but it also sounds a little mediocre, and the transition into live instruments could have, and should have been much cooler - it comes off kind of corny.  The wave of the beachy guitar in the chorus bugs me, but again, that might be because of the headphones.  I'm really gonna have to listen to these last two on some kind of speaker system that is not my computer's speakers.    I like that the groove builds and changes throughout the tune, but it never gets into anything that really intrigues me, and that's unfortunate seeing as it's over eight minutes long.  Cool that it's able to connect right back into the gameboy intro groove, and the super gradual ritard is a plus.

Good Intentions:  Literally three seconds long.  Is that screaming?  And a "okay, cool."  Interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Look At You

Aluminum Park


Songs of the Day

Look At You:  This is a sweet little country number, but I think it may weigh a little too heavy on the country side of things.  The other country-esque tracks were a little more subtle, with an updated flair...this doesn't have enough of the flair.  I like the sound of the groove, but I want there to be more to it - it's too mellow.  I want the addition at the end to be in the song the whole time.  Jim sounds sweet, but there's not much "umph."  It's good, but I'm underwhelmed.  I'll probably need a couple more listens.

Aluminum Park:  Glad to hear that this has a little more "umph" to it, I'm not too sure about the mix though.  I want the guitar to be more in the forefront for this kind of rock groove.  I like the A section, but I'm not so into the B - it's too cutesy (or something) for me.  Too expected is probably a better way to put it.  I like the rawness that the A section provides, and I don't feel that with the chorus.  Sticking with the groove in the verses would have been cooler, in my opinion.  Cool guitar solo at the end.  Good, not great.

Remnants:  I like that they're sticking with the rock on this one, and it's a cool rock groove.  Like the motif that's going on in the guitar - very cool.  I especially like the pick up in the second half of the verses, and then later into the chorus - it's a nice, short build.  This is another case where I'm not as into the B section as the A, but I still like what's going on in the chorus.  Definitely a solid rock groove, and I like that the vocals are in no way overpowering.  The ending hits are kinda corny though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Thank You Too!

Sec Walkin

Two Halves


Songs of the Day

Thank You Too!:  What a sweet lil love song this is.  I really like the mellow groove on this one - it's got a subtle country undertone to it that makes it sound very sweet.  Really great addition with the strings - soft, mellow, and the perfect touch to the sound.  It's got an old-school feel to it that I like and find refreshing.  The vocals on this are sweet and simple, which is all the tune needed.  Dig the subtle build up with the accented strings - a nice lift to the groove.  Very sweet, really like it.

Sec Walkin:  Alright, well there's nothing subtle about the country in this tune, but it's the kind of country I dig, so I ain't complaining.  I really like My Morning Jackets use of layers, especially what they do with synths and strings - it's always subtle, but adds the right amount of texture to the groove.  Is this Jim James singing?  It doesn't really sound like it (I'm not familiar enough with the vocal change ups) and I'm not too, too into it - it might be too country, but I guess that may be the point.  I like that they were able to keep the country feel, but add a modern sound to it.  Neat-o. 

Two Halves:  I think this is the least interesting groove so far.  I feel like I've heard it before, and I'm not intrigued like I was with the previous tracks.  Vocals are just okay as well.  It doesn't seem to fit in with the sound that's been developed on the rest of the album.  Eh.

Librarian:  This is a simple tune, and I can get down with that.  What I really like about it is how it builds with layers as the song goes on.  The guitar melody is very sweet, definitely dig that, but I like that the other parts come in to add texture.  Nice string part.  Cute subject matter as well, you don't hear too many tracks about librarians.  Not my favorite so far, or of the day, but it's still very sweet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Evil Urges

Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt 1

Highly Suspicious

I'm Amazed

Songs of the Day

Evil Urges:  I always thinks it's cool when albums start off with their title track - it's a nice intro.  Definitely dig the groove on this one - it goes between a cool, trippy-rock sound, and a kind of country-saloon feel that I really like.  It has it's own sound.  I can't understand a damn thing Jim James is saying, but his higher vocals sit well atop the groove.  The strings are a really nice addition to the feel.  This whole thing just feels happy, which in turn makes me feel happy, and who isn't down with a lil happiness?  The tempo pick up towards the end is very cool - gives the groove a nice pep - and I like that it returns to the intro groove to bring it all back together. Groove's got a lil Radiohead feel to it.  Yeah, I dig this track.

Touch Me I'm Going to Scream, Pt 1:  First of all, I love the name of this track, and the fact that it's in two parts.  This one really reminds me of The Flaming Lips, and in a good way.  I like the touch of futuristic provided by the synth - adds a cool feel, and differentiates itself from the previous tune.  The upbeat feel works really well on this, especially with the guitar and bass parts.  Like the subtle harmonies - nice n simple, but add depth to the vocals.  Dig the vocal/drum break with the cool bass sound - definitely funky.  The groove is sweet, funky, and futuristic - a very cool combo.  Abrupt ending is cool. I can get down with this.

Highly Suspicious:  This track is funny.  I don't know if that's what they were going for, but that's definitely what it is, but in an entertaining way.  The rock groove, with the high pitched vocals (that I can't understand for the life of me) contrasted by the low "highly suspicious" vocals is what makes it.  Groove switch up in the middle is cool.  It's got a cool rock groove, but I just wanna giggle the whole time.  I imagine this is gonna get stuck in my head.

I'm Amazed:  I'm pretty sure this song was on the American Dad episode I watched...actually, I'm certain of it.  Pretty sure it started the whole thing off - and I can understand, this is a solid track.  This has a kind of new school Lynyrd Skynyrd feel to it, and I dig it.  I'm not the biggest country fan, but I like it in subtle touches, like this.  More country-rock grooves than anything.  They know how to hold this feel down.  Harmonies are nice - I like that they don't try and do anything crazy, vocally.  Nice build to the end.  I feel like this is a track that really showcases their strengths as individual players, and as a band.  Really solid.

Album Factoids

Evil Urges

Released: June 7, 2008
Genre: Indie-Rock
Label: ATO
Producers: Joe Chiccarelli, and Jim James

Jim James - vocals, guitar; Tome Blakenship - bass; Patrick Hallahan - drums; Carl Broemel - guitar, sax, vocals; Bo Koster - keys, percussion, vocals 

Week 71: My Morning Jacket

So, I was watching an episode of American Dad the other night, and in the episode, Stan becomes obsessed with My Morning Jacket.  Now, I've heard of My Morning Jacket before, but it was the first time I had ever heard any of their music, and I really dug what I was hearing.  That's pretty much it.  Thanks, Seth McFarland.