It was hard for me to pick where to begin with My Morning Jacket. Logically you start at the first release then work through chronologically, or if you know someone who their favourite band is My Morning Jacket (MMJ) you can always ask them.
So I did Will is a huge MMJ fan but as the chill and free spirit he is his answer was ‘Just start where you want’. So I went with the album that had the song I had heard first. That being Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2. The track is one of their most well known and so I jumped in and have eventually got to listening to the MMJ album Evil Urges (It Still Moves, 2003 was a close second as I love Run Thru, then again I have heard great things about Z, 2005 as well which I can now verify).
Any-who there is a 1960’s aura around parts (i.e. Evil Urges) of this record as the vocals at least for me fit into the psychedelic hippie space, high pitched and without constraint on the first song on the first song which is also shares its name with the title of the album. It is slightly askew but sets up well for the feel of what is to come as throughout the tracks their are similar psychedelic, experimental and progy spots.
As I wrote in the the earlier paragraph the most well known track off this album and possibly in their entire discography is Touch Me I’m Going to Scream Pt. 2 but as you can expect there is a Pt 1. The nae is one of the only things that they have in common along with a few of the lyrics and the contrasting sentiments. Pt 1 is wanting that connection with another ‘Touch me I’m going to scream if you don’t’ and Pt 2 is experiencing the connection ‘Oh, this feeling it is wonderful, don’t you ever turn it off!’. Sonically they differ the most, both are tremendous, Pt 1’s drumming is a particular draw with what I describe as stuttery feel mixed into the classic rock-esc beats, whilst on Pt 2 they are more robotic to fit into the slower, tripy vibes created by the the reverbed vocals and electronic synths that begin kick off the song ad come back in various forms in the chorus. Pt 1 is more traditional as it is more compact and shorter, it feels more intimate and emotional and Pt 2 is more celebratory.
Perhaps the sweetest moment on the recording is Librarian a love song to someone who’s occupation is that of the songs name. It is a softly picked acoustic guitar driven piece with romantic strings and tender lyrics. It also struck me as it reminds me of the times I went to the library as a kid and more recent times Uni living in the library doing all nightmers frantically working to get them done for the looming deadlines. I guess I am realising my fondness for Libraries (though there wasn’t a Librarian that I took a fancy too).
Remnants straight up rocks with the killer lead lines and punching rhythms. Sec Walkin is a country song so there are a number of genres explored on Evil Urges but don’t worry as MMJ are stellar musicians they pull them all off with ease.
Evil Urges is just easy to listen to as it is consistent in its quality songwriting, intriguing expressions of sound, progressive movements and diversity in styles.