My Morning Jacket: Circuital

My Morning Jacket: Circuital
Since their 1999 debut album, My Morning Jacket has been seemingly gaining momentum, commercially. 2003’s It Still Moves was their first album to crack the Billboard200, peaking at #121. Fiver years and two album’s later, 2008’s Evil Urges peaked at number nine. Critically however, they seem to have peaked with Z; the album was universally praised with a Metacritic score of 90. The album’s successor, Evil Urges garnered the worst reviews of the band’s career. My Morning Jacket hopes to turn it around with their sixth studio album, Circuital.
Evil Urges was plagued by what some critics dubbed “weirdness.” The experimentalism of the album seems to have been almost completely washed away and what is left is a band embracing a much poppier sound than on their previous albums. To promote the album, the band released “Holdin’ On To Black Metal.” The track features unique touches like horns straight out of a John Barry score, lead singer Jim James singing in falsetto, and some gospel choir backing vocals. These unique touches are added to a driving piano tune creating the most “single” sounding song the band has ever produced.
Not every song is quite as good as “Holdin’ On to Black Metal.” There are two or three songs on the album that sound more like Simon & Garfunkel tunes than anything else on the album. Most notably, “Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” is stuck in between two up-tempo rock tunes and really breaks the momentum of the album. The other two slower songs are at least buried at the end of the album.
Because the album feels like it has a much weaker ending, it leaves me with a little bit of a lackluster taste in my mouth. The album’s high moments are some of the highest of My Morning Jacket’s careers but the structure of the album leaves the listener feeling like some filler was added to prevent the album from being an EP.
Rating: 7.3/10
MP3: My Morning Jacket “Holdin On to Black Metal”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon