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    Here we have it, finally after months of anticipation it has made it into our grubby little hands…My Morning Jacket’s new album “The Waterfall:” reportedly the first of two albums the band recorded last year in California.

    It’s a broad, sweeping, and often meandering album that on the surface moves with less purpose than the band’s previous albums; but then again that might very well be the purpose of this album.  As a collection of songs “The Waterfall” feels like it's been made by a band in search of something on a dark, star-crusted beach.

    The cornerstone of the band’s music is Jim James and the songs themselves, because once the frills and players are stripped away, these songs still stand. The sound is atmospheric and textured, but definitely feels somewhat less cohesive than the band’s usual studio efforts.  They definitely capture an ethereal sprawl with spacey tracks like “Like a River” and “Only Memories Remain.”  Jim James’ voice is literally and figuratively throughout the album: there are moments in "The Waterfall" that feel like slightly more subdued versions of his electronic solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God.”

    The album definitely finds a pulse toward the middle with more upbeat tracks: “In Its Infancy (the Waterfall)” and “Spring (Among the Living).”  It’s on these tracks that the band seems to all be moving in the same direction for a change, and just on the verge of an old school rock-out. As instrumentalists, keyboardist Bo Koster and guitarist Carl Broemel prove that they can meander about with the best of them; but their rhythm section featuring drummer Pat Hallahan and bassist Tom Blankenship continues to be the band’s ace in the hole.  Their complex interplay and restrained veracity lays the subtle foundation on which every one of these songs is built.  

    You can purchase "The Waterfall" here. 

    Brent Owen's picture

    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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