My Morning Jacket: Circuital

Categories: Review Roundup

My Morning Jacket - Circuital
Today marks the last grasp for the month of May -- a rather solid month, I might add, for new releases. So far, I've covered Fleet Foxes, Gang Gang Dance, Friendly Fires and, now, Kentucky indie rockers My Morning Jacket. Circuital, the band's sixth LP, is their first from 2008's warmly received Evil Urges. While that particular album put MMJ on most everyone's radar, Circuital will effectively propel the band near the top of said radar.

Bolstered by lead single "Hangin' On To Black Metal," Circuital finds Jim James and company yet again refining their Americana rock roots. The titular track "Circuital" is a delightful give and take between an all-out rock offering and its meandering, folk-twinged prelude. "The Day Is Coming" harkens back to MMJ's earlier, It Still Moves days -- the song is mellow and all-around enjoyable, singing the praises of such earlier MMJ songs like "Mahgeetah" and "One Big Big Holiday." No matter what mood you're in, Circuital has you covered.

What the critics are saying: 

Rolling Stone: "The Day Is Coming" is space rock with a soul heartbeat, somewhere between the Delfonics and the Flaming Lips. All this warm, elegiac music fits lyrics that marinate in Zen tranquility -- "I will never grow older/At least not in my mind," James sings on "Wonderful (The Way I Feel)."

Spin: Circuital resets the band's compass. Recorded with producer Tucker Martine (the Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens) in a church gym in Louisville, it's a get-back move, but not of the grasping, lost-nerve/empty-tank variety.

A.V. Club: Still, the four songs in the middle of Circuital sound the most vital: the kooky, bubblegum-y "Outta My System," the girl-group/Italian-cinema-soundtrack mash-up "Holdin' On To Black Metal," the fuzzy, funky "First Light," and the trippy carnival ride "You Wanna Freak Out."

Pitchfork: Like nearly all of their studio albums, Circuital may not reach the heights of the band's live show -- a good MMJ concert can recalibrate your gut, it can change you -- but it's a remarkably solid step for a band that's never stopped evolving.

Circuital is out now via ATO.

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