My Morning Jacket - Circuital

by Dan Clay Rating:8.5 Release Date:2011-06-14

Having sat and watched Seattle's Fleet Foxes not just pitch up in their turf, but re-lay it pristinely green and acoustic, Louisville's My Morning Jacket must have been seething. Thankfully, they've turned that envied aggression into a duel, releasing their sixth album Circuital around the same time as the new boys in town's second, and it's a belter.

"Should I close my eyes and prophesise," sings Jim James over the opening song

(probably the best thing on the album) and 'Wonderful's acoustic stirrings take us on an almost religious journey; one you won't want to end.

rockier vibe and 'Holdin' on to Black Metal's bizarre school choir backing mean Circuital never loses it's zany edge; something the Foxes, as gorgeously sumptuous as they are, have yet to master. 'First Light' revels in its Spiritualized/Happy Mondays influence with its sax backing and rocky stomp. 'You Wanna Freak Out' changes tack with its waltzy Duran Duran feel (not always a bad thing as Mystery Jets continue to prove), before shifting suddenly into the laid-back groove of 'Slow Slow Song'.

However, it's closing track

which lingers longest with its slow piano backing and almost a capella moments of simple beauty and slide guitar. Clearly 2008's detour on Evil Urges has helped James and co shape tunes to perfection again. Time to get outside then, enjoy what sunshine we have and put your morning jacket on early - it won't be coming off until late in the day.

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