My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
These Kentucky rockers were mislabeled as a “Southern rock” band in their early days, but their last couple of albums likely appeal to hippies more than rednecks. On the band’s latest — their first full-length since 2005’s Brit-rock tinged Z — those well-versed in ’70s rock will enjoy playing “Name That Tune” throughout the album. For the most part, the jammier elements of their early albums (and live sets) are replaced with an amalgam of the band’s classic rock influences. This may work to their advantage, as it’s likely many of their younger fans have never listened to Cheap Trick (“Two Halves”), The Eagles (“Sec Walkin”), or The Grateful Dead (“I’m Amazed”); singer Jim James even name drops Karen Carpenter on the mesmerizing “Librarian.”
Although nearly every song on Evil Urges is derivative, the album flows well and quickly grows on the listener — the band is undeniably talented, but Jerry Garcia on his most plumped-up heroin binge would have never included “Highly Suspicious,” possibly the most grating song since Cameo’s “Word Up,” on an album. All is forgiven, though, with tunes like “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream” (parts 1 & 2) and “Aluminum Park,” vastly different songs that flaunt the band’s experimental tendencies. Like Z, Evil Urges is destined to be an album that divides the band’s fans, but those that stick around are bound to enjoy the My Morning Jacket’s continued evolution.