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Jim James

Regions of Light and Sound of God (ATO)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., March 15, 2013

SXSW 2013 Records

Jim James

Regions of Light and Sound of God (ATO)

Jim James' solo bow, 2009's EP of George Harrison covers under the moniker Yim Yames, excavated the Kentucky songwriter's spiritual musing in a way unexplored with My Morning Jacket. His first proper solo LP builds both on Harrison's introspective humility and MMJ's cosmic bombast. Regions ... searches for simplicity amid chaos, "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)" grappling with rebirth in the modern world before the album segues subtle disco-funk inflections, jazz cues, and guitar scrapes on "Know Til Now." "Dear One" and "A New Life" refine that search in relationships, yet as joyously as James expounds, the underlying want and yearning pulls the songs most effectively. The backside tinges vaguely religious, though no less eclectic behind the Middle-Eastern vibe of "All Is Forgiven" and otherworldly reverb of "God's Love to Deliver." Beautifully shamanistic. (12:30am, Hype Hotel; Fri., 7pm, Auditorium Shores)

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