Jim James - 'Regions Of Light And Sound Of God'

by AlexJackson
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on 29 January 2013 in Albums & EPs
Record Label V2 Music
Rating 9/10

Inspired by a pioneering 1929 graphic novel chronicling an artist’s struggle with temptation, love and corruption isn’t your average reading material, but then this is no ordinary musician. Lynd Ward’s book ‘God’s Man’ created the vision that manifests itself on My Morning Jacket’s lead man’s first solo album. After six albums with his band and critical acclaim garnered in every corner of the music industry, it is pretty easy to predict what sound he may bring to the table on this record. From the off you know as a lone piano plays over minimalist vocals, this is going to be a typically bold, cinematic, complex and hypnotic effort. And that voice simply never fails to astonish. Opener ‘State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)’ is startlingly brilliant and reminiscent of the peerless ‘Victory Dance’ on his band’s last album or the hushed tones of his side project’s (Monsters of Folk) ‘Dear God (Sincerley M.o.F)’. The real beauty in all the music Jim James creates is his knack for hooks in the most unexpected of places. Take single ‘Know Till Now’ as an example of probably his most straightforward “pop” song here. It resists easy categorization and has multiple layers and sections to it that baffle, amaze and constantly seduce the listener into his captive imagination with every word ushered. Some could argue it sounds too similar to his regular day job and takes no bold steps into the distant unknown, but when it is this good, why strive hard for something different. His biggest asset is in his vocal strength and originality that he has stepped up to time and time again over the years. The hazy space funk of ‘Dear One’ jumps across different soundscapes before the lovely chiming operatic pop of ‘A New Life’ charms the pants off any deterred or wavering listeners. There is the delicate instrumental of ‘Exploding’, the intimacy of ‘Of The Mother Again’ and the pure intrigue of closer ‘God’s Love to Deliver.’ Jim James set out to make an album that “sounded like it came from a different place in time” and the results are exemplary. Turn your stereo up and marvel at a true musical icon.

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