Regions Of Light And Sound Of God
ATO Records – February 5th 2013
By Dan Rankin (@DanielKRankin)
Find it at: iTunes | Insound | HMV Digital
My Morning Jacket frontman and Monsters of Folk co-conspirator Jim James has released his share of music under various monikers, but his latest album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, holds the distinction of being his full length solo debut. The first time music fans heard James unaccompanied was on the 2009 EP Tribute To, a collection of stripped down, reverb-heavy renditions of George Harrison classics fit to be played at especially somber wakes. Regions has much more depth instrumentally and expresses a wider range of emotion than that effort, which echoed mainly bittersweet sadness throughout.
“A New Life” begins as a very mellow track before ascending into a legitimate dance tune that shows James’ rawest vocal capabilities over a swelling saxophone. Similarly, on “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U)”, James slowly builds a very smooth-sounding fort on top a bed of bass, piano and drums, inside of which he laments humanity getting caught up in technological progression. Ironic, considering the sonic experimentation James manages elsewhere. The layered synth melodies, snare-snapping drum beat and jazz outro on “Know Til Now”, which bleed into the frantic Land-of-Make-Believe-esque piano on “Dear One”, exemplify the less accessible portions of Regions. It’s as if the pained soulful spirituals from Dan Auerbach’s Keep It Hid shacked up with the spaced out expressionism on John Frusciante’s Shadows Collide With People, giving birth to a folksy combo-child. And this kid has a lot of promise.
Listen: “Of The Mother Again”, “Actress” || Watch: Jim James – “A New Life”