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Jim James has cultivated a reputation for being an experimental musician, not pledging allegiance to any one style of sound. It’s constantly evolving to say the least. Not only as the frontman and chief song architect for My Morning Jacket, but as a solo artist, too. On his sophomore solo album, a follow-up to 2013’s Regions of Light & Sound of God, James’ delivers a set of tracks that once again proves he’s still in a state of evolution.
Where Regions of Light & Sound of God was 2013’s melodic, tenor-based, happy trip thru musical serenity, Eternally Even delivers a more rhythmic, synthed-out, acid-jazz sound that’s laced with R&B and soul undertones, and accentuated with James’ unconventional baritone vocs. The payoff is a bit more darker and somber in overall resonance than perhaps anything he’s recorded, even with My Morning Jacket.
As usual with James, these songs are deeply personal, and reflective of his own personal views on life and our reality in the present day. A reality that seems rather glum and bummed out, as “Same Old Lie” spells out with candid reverberation via a swanky chorus. Is he talking about the presidential election? The fear-mongering media? Most likely. Along with a host of other loathsome politically-charged realities.
The instrumental prowess of “We Ain’t Getting Any Younger Pt. 1” provides a gratifying, mid-album transition into the second half of the album, where Pt. 2 of the same song fuses James’ alto vocals.
The album’s title track triumphantly culminates as the last track, and maintains the album’s avant-garde feel. Eternally Even manifests itself as a progressive experimentation and peek into James’ own unpredictable psyche.
Jim James –
Produced by Jim James and Blake Mills
Release: November 4, 2016