Evil is good.
If you know all about My Morning Jacket then firstly, well done, they’re an excellent band but secondly; don’t be too tied in with what has gone down before. ‘Evil Urges’ sees the band pushing the boundaries a bit more than their previous albums and the first half of the album may have a few long term fans scratching their head at what is going on. The middle delivers more of the traditional treats offered up by the band before the end races away again but it’s a strong mix of old and new on this record.
Opening track and the title song ‘Evil urges’ sounds like a few different songs tacked together, the falsetto vocals bring to mind some great soul moments whereas the guitar sounding like a keyboard solo mimics 1970s Who. When you add this over a psychedelic soul stew of a backing track its obvious there is a little bit more up the sleeve of this album.
‘Highly Suspicious’ is a gruff and a little bit scary number but ‘I’m Amazed’ settles down into what may be the more classic My Morning Jacket sound, rock with an Americana twang. It has a loose and relaxed feel and rhythm with a really easy going melody and it is definitely one song that people can latch onto to find a way into this album. Not that it is difficult to get into, theres a lot of great songs here but sometimes people are scared of change. Embrace the change people and let this record in as it is one that will be looked back upon favourably when it comes to the end of year reviews.
A focal point of the second half of the record is undoubtedly ‘Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Part 2’ which clocks in at over 8 minutes and as you can imagine, packs a lot into its time. It’s a clever microcosm of the album, if you only had ten minutes to work out a 55 minute record, this would be the track to go for. The instant the heavy guitar cracks in after five minutes has you immediately looking to see if a new song has begun but no, the backing vocals continue in the same vein. It’s an impressive piece of work, particularly for an album that has already transcended a lot of styles and genres.
So, apologies if this review has been a bit scattergun but its kind of the best way to represent this record. Wherever you pop into it or whatever song you like best, it will stand at odds with the rest of it but over time, the album starts to pull together. Some of the backing vocals and snippets of the funky tracks ring synonymous with some of the traditional songs and vice versa and after living with the record, it becomes a My Morning Jacket record. And that is one of the best compliments you are going to give to a record and this will feature in the end of year look-backs.