Leigh MichaelWednesday,30 January 2013

The Snap:

On Monday, NPR released a few songs from Jim James’ upcoming solo album as a part of their “First Listen” series.

The collection showcases James’ immense talent as an individual artist – though the essence of My Morning Jacket still sneaks into many of the songs, so fans of the band can breathe easy. His album, Regions of Light and Sound of God, comes out 5 February. You can preorder (and admire bizarre photos of a thronelike chair) here.

The Download:

I hopped on the My Morning Jacket bandwagon a little bit late (edit: very late). Now that I think back on it, I owe my love of the band to James himself, who bowled me over with this song when I was watching “I’m Not There.”

James is a southern boy, born and raised in Lousiville, Kentucky. I feel like this is worth noting because it seeps into all of his songs – a langorous, slow vibe that almost forces you to sit back and relax. Moreover, James has adopted an echoey effect that makes his voice seem to hang in the air. It’s one of those effects that could be really annoying… but it isn’t.

Jim James has a way of exuding “cool” – from his slip-off-the-tongue name to his grizzly beard to his AmA stints to his awesome musical projects. In 2009, he released Tribute To, a collection of George Harrison covers. If you haven’t heard them already, give yourself a three-minute gift (work can wait, I promise) and listen to “My Sweet Lord.” Chills will ensue. He also collaborated with a host of other artists on an awesome Woody Guthrie tribute that will quickly rack up some valuable “Most Played” points on your Itunes. You’ve been warned.

The more I read about Jim James, the more I realize that there’s only one explanation for his impressive variety of different projects. The guy is clearly an overachiever – he played every one of the instruments on Regions of Light and Sound of God by himself, ensuring that all of the credit for the mastery of this album is his and his alone. Just kidding. Sort of.

From the song sampling that NPR kindly provided, I can tell that this is going to be the sort of album that becomes a staple on long, introspective car rides. It also makes me realize that maybe the only thing better than having Regions of Light and Sound of God playing on the speakers would be Jim James in the passenger seat, explaining what he was thinking when he wrote these melancholy songs.

Hat Tips:

NPR, Jim James, My Morning Jacket, Image Credit: Flickr

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  1. […] James – Regions of Light and Sound of God I’ve told you guys about the huge amount of admiration that I have for Jim James, whether he’s setting the tone for My Morning Jacket or venturing solo. […]

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