Sunday, December 20, 2009

Music Decade List #11: My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves (2003)

When other music critics are pouring over their best of the decade lists and come to My Morning Jacket, they will probably go with other options over It Still Moves. Dectractors of the album will point to its overt Classic Rock influences and would say that the new directions of Z and Evil Urges show the band crafting a more original sound. I for one, find nothing wrong with wearing influences on sleeves and the album's re-interpretation of various Classic Rock forms is still the My Morning Jacket I love best. It Still Moves starts off with a powerful 1-2 punch, with 'Mahgeeta' and 'Dancefloors' offering up the killer guitar solos and reverb vocals that define the classic My Morning Jacket sound. It coming home from Bonnaroo 2003 listening to the mix they gave you on the way in that I discovered 'Mahgeeta'. I had missed MMJ at that Bonnaroo and of all the songs on that compilation, it was the one that knocked me out. It's just such a killer track that I would probably have put the album on the list just for that. The rest of the album isn't any worse, however, as 'Golden' and 'I Will Sing You Songs' show that Jim James has some songwriting strengths over guitar jams. The scope of It Still Moves isn't as wide as their subsequent albums but the My Morning Jacket I'll take over any other exists here.

My Morning Jacket also wins honors as live band of the decade, as they put on two of the best shows: their Bonnaroo performance in 2004 before and during one of the most ominous thunderstorms I've ever seen and their first late night set at Bonnaroo 2006. They along with The Flaming Lips have been one of the handfuls of bands that have bridged the indie/jam band gap and become synonymous with Bonnaroo. And I would have probably not have noticed that early if if wasn't for that Bonnaroo sampler and 'Mahgeeta.'

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