First Look: New My Morning Jacket LP

 

Released next week by ATO Records,
it sounds completely of a piece, and sets the stage for one of the summer’s
potentially best tours.

 

By Hal Bienstock

In the
chorus of Circuital‘s title track,
Jim James sings “Right back in the same place I started out.” While that may be
literally true – this is the first album the band has recorded in its home
state of Kentucky
since 2003’s It Still Moves –  it’s not exactly a return to the old days. If
anything, it’s more like the musical version of someone who goes back to his
hometown after a few years away. The town may be the same, but the person
certainly isn’t. So while Circuital has
the warm, folk-based sound that characterized the band’s early work, it also
makes room for the experimentalism of its more recent albums.  

 

In fact,
the most interesting thing about Circuital – and MMJ itself – is the way it manages to sound completely of a piece, while incorporating
tons of different sounds. Opening track “Victory Dance” sounds like Neil Young
& Crazy Horse performing with an orchestra, while the title track combines
the galloping beat of U2 with Grateful Dead harmonies. There are also steel-guitar
ballads (“Wonderful”), psychedelic funk-rock (“Holdin’ On to Black Metal”) and
catchy, alternate-universe radio hits (“First Light”).

 

 

Overall, Circuital is a strong album that stands
a notch below MMJ’s best (Z and It Still Moves). But as anyone who has
seen its live shows will attest, albums aren’t really what this band is about.
There are a lot of songs on here that should kill onstage. For now, think of Circuital as an enjoyable set of coming
attractions for what should be one of the best tours of the summer.

 

[Photo
Credit: Danny Clinch]

 

Tour Dates:

 

5/31

LOUISVILLE, KY
Louisville Palace
Theatre

06/02

OZARK, AR
Wakarusa Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/03

OZARK, AR
Wakarusa Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/04

OZARK, AR
Wakarusa Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/05

HUNTER,
NY
Mountain Jam

06/09

MANCHESTER, TN
Bonnaroo Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/10

MANCHESTER, TN
Bonnaroo Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/11

MANCHESTER, TN
Bonnaroo Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/12

MANCHESTER, TN
Bonnaroo Festival
(Schedule to be announced soon)

06/16

MILWAUKEE, WI
Riverside Theater

06/17

CHICAGO, IL
Auditorium Theatre

06/22

LOS ANGELES, CA
Pantages Theatre

06/24

OAKLAND, CA
Fox Theatre

06/26

SEATTLE, WA
Paramount Theatre

06/28

PORTLAND, OR
Edgefield

06/29

VANCOUVER, BC
Orpheum

06/30

QUINCY, CA
High Sierra Music
Festival (Schedule to be announced soon)

07/01

QUINCY, CA
High Sierra Music
Festival (Schedule to be announced soon)

07/02

SANTA
BARBAR, CA
Santa Barbara Bowl

07/03

QUINCY, CA
High Sierra Music
Festival

07/11

TORONTO, ON
Kool Haus

07/12

MONTREAL, QC
Metropolis

07/16

SOUTHWOLD, UK
Latitude Festival

07/17

LONDON, UK
Somerset House

08/02

ST. LOUIS, MO
The Pageant

08/03

KANSAS CITY, MO
Uptown Theater

08/04

MORRISON,
CO
Red Rocks Amphitheatre

08/05

BANGOR, ME
The KahBang Festival

08/06

BANGOR, ME
The KahBang Festival

08/07

INDIANAPOLIS, IN
The Lawn at White River
State Park (w/ Neko Case)

08/08

COLUMBUS, OH
LC Pavillion (w/ Neko
Case)

08/09

BANGOR, ME
The KahBang Festival

08/10

PITTSBURGH, PA
Stage AE (w/ Neko Case)

08/11

BANGOR, ME
The KahBang Festival

08/12

COLUMBIA, MD
Merriweather Post
Pavillion (w/ Neko Case)

08/13

BANGOR, ME
The KahBang Festival

08/14

BOSTON,
MA
Bank of America
Pavillion (w/ Neko Case)

08/16

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI
Meadow Brook (w/ Neko
Case)

08/17

CINCINNATI, OH
PNC Pavillion at Riverbend
Music Center
(w/ Neko Case)

08/20

ALPHARETTA, GA
Verizon Wireless
Amphitheatre (w/ Neko Case)

08/21

CHARLOTTE, NC
Time Warner Cable
Uptown Amphitheatre (w/ Neko Case)

09/17

AUSTIN, TX
Austin City Limits Music Festival

 

 

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