Music Review: My Morning Jacket

It Still Moves

Jim James

Spring 2016 | CD/LP/Digital

Genre: Kentucky Fried Rock & Reverb

This classic re-issue is long over-due and contains some real gems and glimpses of the very bright future ahead of a much younger Jim James.

It sounds like Jim James recorded his breathy choruses and layered them up in a big ol’ Kentucky silo. He did that and it pays off on the record that turned all ears to a band of very metal-looking artists with flying Vs and stringy shoulder length hair. “It Still Moves” wasn’t the first MMJ album, but it was the first one that got heads-turning, toes-tapping, and asses shaking in a big way.

“It Still Moves” was first release in 2002 and that reverb-drenched fuzzed-up guitar and crunchy organ groove perfected by few became that My Morning Jacket/Jim James sound. Iconic, southern-tinged rock, perfected with space and time; luscious vocals cascading with all-natural corn fed reverb like a waterfall of pure emotion, built within layers of synths and sounds and stomping beats. This is one of the seminal rock records of the next generation of classic rockers.

The album is perfectly paced and layered with jaunting rockers with plenty of thick Gibson guitar tone and lots of slide and even the occasional pop of brass. Solid and driving lead from James’ guitar leads the fuzzy followers into a frenzy that leaves you tired from dancing in your mind. There is some seriously dirty Hammond Organ with that Leslie swirl that harkens to some of the darker sounds from the dusty garages and halls of the late 60s. Dirty. Like your martini or ex-wife perhaps.

James and crew show you what happens when guitars are used properly, and the splendor of a Skynyrd hoe-down gives way to a Floydian strip, big sound, big vocals, plenty of spaces in all the right places.

This big re-issue comes after MMJ’s massive “Waterfall,” and a stint in the studio producing the latest from Ray LaMontagne. Plenty of bonus material has been un-earthed, fossils and relics tha tell the story of the past, the early ideas that would become an instant American rock and roll classic.