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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
My Morning Jacket
It Still Moves
ATO Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It took quite a few listens for It Still Moves to sink in, but a slow-burning infectiousness is quite possibly what Jim James had in mind with his songwriting for My Morning Jacket's major label debut. Nothing about the album says accessibility- from the pairing of horns and guitars with the hollowed-out (recorded in a grain silo) drunken white boy farm funk of "Run Thru". This is a record for musicians, fans, producers- everyone but critics. It Still Moves doesn't pop open as radio ready right out of the box, but instead it lingers in the dash for several rotations on that late night, long distance drive. This one isn't for the college radio nerds; it's for the boys back on the farm getting drunk and stoned.

Some of the more bouncy, hick-pop numbers (such as the album's second track, "Dancefloors" in which James sings about getting laid on the road) never quite reach a place where they can be swallowed easily. But the record's more layered, artistic moments are down right delicious, contrasting nicely with the more brash, overt songs. The rambling Wilco-esque ending to the opening track "Mahgeetah" is a bit unfortunate, but the bulk of the song is as taught as a fishing line on a beer-swilling Sunday afternoon. Songs such as the reflective "Golden" have that lonely, bar-room entertainer-on-the-road whiskey stench about them (more Tim Buckley than it is Johnny Cash) and you can almost picture a camera panning out from the passenger's face as an old Ford pickup, loaded down with small town dreams, crosses from dusty farmland over the river into the heroin and concrete of the big city.

It isn't until the album's fourth track, "Masterplan", that My Morning Jacket really hit their stride- big, Giant Sand styled guitars roar out over James' sweet and dark mesmerizing croon. Reverb is loaded on the album in heaping helpings but it isn't until the hooks swing sharply into focus that My Morning Jacket live up to all the fuss. Every song on It Still Moves has merit, but for all the layered pop intricacies of these dirt road bong rips it is the reverberating, twangy pitch of old country that meld with moments of Grateful Dead influence to give the album it's punch.

There seems to be little dissention amongst fans and press alike that the album's fifth song , "One Big Holiday", is it's center-piece. Nimble guitar noodling is loaded up with classic, treble-y guitar riffage and James' thick, echoing voice before the brakes are let loose and the whole mule cart goes a rollin' down the riverbank.

Reviewed by Clifton Gates
Currently sleeping on beaches in Costa Rica, Clifton Gates is an occasional contributor, editor, idea springboard and moral crutch to LAS magazine.

See other reviews by Clifton Gates

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