Thursday, September 24, 2009

2005 : 24-25 Two tracks by My Morning Jacket


The opening strains of this song always excite me, no matter how many times I hear it, because I know what's coming. I cannot understand why Jim James isn't considered one of the best singers in music today. Is there any voice that could work better on this track? My favorite part is actually one that can be easily missed. Listen to the opening line—"Is this climbing up to the moon?" With both the studio recording and the live versions (the audio file is actually taken from the 2006 live disc Okonokos), James' voice always tends to crack and drag out the word 'to' for just a split second longer than normal, and for some reason, I always focus on that. His voice isn't perfect, it lilts a little, but he's obviously pouring himself into every word. That one little crack always makes me smile.

"Off the Record"

This song is phenomenal, because the focus is on the music and the emotion. As with "Anytime," James' voice isn't perfect, and at times, the lyrics are downright unintelligible. However, he doesn't dominate at all; the entire band is both in harmony yet distinct, from the bass to the drumming. I've also picked the live version for the audio file because it's a longer version than the studio one, and it combines the best of both worlds: it's definitely their song, but in the middle, it turns into what feels like a jam session or an improv experiment. However, this only adds to the beauty.

Jamie Yates

Listen: My Morning Jacket >> "Anytime" | "Off The Record"

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