My Morning Jacket

Record Review

Phases and Stages

My Morning Jacket

It Still Moves (ATO/RCA) Echo. Jimmy James' reverb wail, Jimmy James' nostalgic moan, Jimmy James' lovelorn cry. Jimmy James' bursting soul. Falling hopelessly in love with the Louisville, Ky., visionary is as simple as surrendering one's virtue to Jeff Tweedy or Neil Young. Love at first swoon. Frontman/songwriter/producer James and his fellowship of Southern gentleman cotton to their own mistress on the quintet's third LP, pledging their sovereignty to the nomadic existence of touring. "In my blood there's gasoline, for an urban boy on a dirty tour I never felt so clean," sings James on the piano-stepping "Dancefloors," romanticizing further on follow-up "Golden" ("We'll go through this thing together, and on heaven's golden shore we'll lay our heads"). James leans toward West Coast wistful, Bread's David Gates with more fiber, but MMJ comes by their own case of DBTs naturally; verse, chorus, verse, lift-off -- horns, mandolins, rebel guitars, and a Soft Bulletin whomp. The spaciousness of James' yearning borders on the mystical, imbuing It Still Moves with its contemplative nature, demonstrated by blurred, bubbling "I Will Sing You Songs," all nine Christmas-morning minutes of it. Some would no doubt trade patches of this 72-minute sprawl ("Rollin Back," "Just One Thing," "Steam Engine") for anthems, and the fact that the album ends with a (lovely) sigh not a bang. Then again, it's hard not to yee-haw when a tune like "Run Thru" ("Oh shit run!") bursts into flames like the aftermath of the 1906 S.F. earthquake. Ditto for the Muscle Shoals' flex of "Easy Morning Rebel," another horn-floored stomp. Needling hill-country flyer "One Big Holiday," and the Skynyrd-like plumes of lead axes rising full-throttle, exhilarate. We'll be the Grand Canyon, Jimmy. You and the boys just keep singing. (My Morning Jacket plays the Mercury Oct. 16-17.)


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Raoul Hernandez
Review: Portrayal of Guilt
Review: Portrayal of Guilt
Christfucker (Run for Cover)

Dec. 10, 2021

Biography of Spooky Rocker Roky Erickson Gets Inside the Myth and Madness
Biography of Spooky Rocker Roky Erickson Gets Inside the Myth and Madness
New oral history explores the head and mysteries of Austin's psych pioneer

Dec. 3, 2021


My Morning Jacket

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle