By Shereen Siewert
Louisville, Kentucky band My Morning Jacket is an Americana band with a haunting, yet classic sound that is instantly identifiable and familiar. Fans absolutely must add the 2005 release, Z, to their vinyl collection. This is the fourth release for the band, and has a much more polished sound than previous efforts.
Compared to those on previous albums, these tracks have more guitar crunch and tighter song structures. Even the single, Off the Record, with its driving reggae rhythms and James’ lively performance, foregoes a dueling-guitar climax in favor of an unraveling outro that sounds like Air noir. The collection makes heavy use of synthesizers throughout the recording, losing the heavy reverb that was a defining characteristic of the band’s prior albums. Each song is more focused and a bit shorter compared to previous works, and is perfect for an evening of relaxing by the fireplace with a snifter of brandy in hand. This is a recording that is tailor made for vinyl.
The first track, Wordless Chorus, is a staple of live performances and will be familiar to anyone who has seen the group perform live. The closing track, Dontante, is one of my all time favorites, but the lyrics are steeped in sorrow, a tribute to former bandmate Aaron Todovich, who committed suicide in 2003 at age 25. The song is so vivid and real that it will make you want to play it again and again.
In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 457 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and also ranked it 31st on its list of the 100 best albums of the 2000s.
My Morning Jacket Z is available in a gorgeous, limited edition pressing from Vinyl Me Please record club. Visit http://fbuy.me/eUu6D for details on joining the club and how to buy. You won’t regret it.