My Morning Jacket: The Waterfall

By Matt Craig Burke

In year 1999, My Morning Jacket handed us their delicate lo-fi debut The Tennessee Fire. Now, 16 years and six full-length albums later, we have The Waterfall–a psychedelic rock anthem that is seasoned with southern goodness.

Tracks like “In its Infancy (The Waterfall)” with it’s soaring synth, belching guitar, and triumphant vocals that gives you the chills. “Get the Point” is a delicate tune with light guitar picking that resurrects MMJ’s earlier lo-fi selves. Other songs such as “Compound Fracture” mimics the sound of a musical score to a video game with brilliantly cheesy synthesizer, thumping drums, and a layer of cooing vocals. “Only Memories Remain” treats you real nice, giving off some R&B soul with sexually healing bass groves and guitar, along with causal drumming that embraces you tight. Lyrically, The Waterfall seems to be a metaphor for something more than just falling water. Jim James, the 37 year-young singer and mastermind behind My Morning Jacket, seems to have found a cleanse, an awakening, “Boy, I was ready for spring. It’s beauty changes. Changes everything. Done hibernating.” Is James sounding aware and content with his delicate, yet dominant singing on “Spring (Among the Living).”

While 2011’s Circuital felt as though it was lacking something, The Waterfall is more eventful, progressive, and experimental, while still capturing their signature alt-country sound. The album runs deep, allowing you to hear something new with every listen, but thats not a surprise coming from My Morning Jacket. Always recreating their familiar sound, yet still remaining unique and refreshing.

Rating: 8.5/10

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