My Morning Jacket, “The Waterfall”
My Morning Jacket
Little by little, My Morning Jacket has inched away from the wall of guitar that broke the band in the early 2000s, instead focusing on detailed sonic experiments through pristine recording techniques. On the Kentucky band’s seventh album The Waterfall, the guitars are so few and far between that the band’s metamorphosis from garage gods to production wizards is nearly complete. Aside from the occasional wash of acoustic strings (“Like a River”), and the even less frequent guitar freak-out, the thoroughly experimental Waterfall is almost entirely a knob-turning affair. MMJ even tosses the non-AOR set a bone with “Believe (Nobody Knows),” destined to be one of the year’s most infectious singles. And yet, for such an imaginatively constructed album—vibes, keys, and synths abound—Jim James unfortunately relies on lyrical clichés (“throw caution to the wind,” “crazy diamonds,” “only memories remain”) throughout The Waterfall. But that doesn’t detract from what is, for the most part, the product of a band that is eminently comfortable in its own skin—ever-changing as it may be.