Jim James

🏷 Singer, musician, and My Morning Jacket frontman from Louisville, Kentucky

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"In the Moment" by Jim James
(2016)

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Working with producer Blake Mills, known for his work on Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Color, [Jim] James crafts an instrumental template suitable to his dark night of the soul outlook. It’s funky in a subdued way, owing to lethargic trip-hop and spooky mid-’70s R&B — think Bill Withers or Shuggie Otis chopped and screwed. Initially known for reverb-drenched southern rock and cosmic Americana, James embraces the same psychedelic soul that informed My Morning Jacket’s 2015 The Waterfall. The drums and bass boom, the strings and synths rise, and James treats his voice like it’s plugged into an array of effects pedals, deploying distortion, pitch-shifting, and echo to create a multilayered tapestry of sounds.

The sumptuousness conjured up by James and Mills provides much of the redemption James resists providing lyrically. (The bass on “In the Moment” begs to be isolated for a YouTube video and studied.) But even as he reflects on “guns, blood, and sorrow,” James keeps the search up for moments of reflection and transcendence. [Source]

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