Jim James: Eternally Even (ATO/Capitol) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Jim James

Eternally Even

ATO/Capitol

Dec 15, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The My Morning Jacket frontman is back with a follow up to his 2013 debut solo release Regions of Light and Sound of God. Jim James is an artist whose work is clearly born of deep and varied influences, a man who takes his music seriously and for whom emotional resonance is a key anchor. The impressive Regions brought us scattered fragments of dreams over dubby, propulsive beats, warm bass, fuzzy guitar, and echoing synth. So what to expect from his sophomore effort?

If anything, Eternally Even is an even more richly immersive experience. The guitars and electronics remain, but this is a more solidly grounded work that feels more relaxed, supple, and strong. Opener "Hide in Plain Sight" sets the tone, a deep tapestry of sound and noise from which varied instruments emerge, surge, fade, and reappeara landscape of ragged peaks and smooth crevasses through which James' portentous vocals walk as through a darkened and all-too familiar wonderland.

"Same Old Lie" is an urgent declamation of frustration, with some frankly beautiful strings soaring over a distorted keyboard base. "Here in Spirit" is a dub-hop anthem with plenty of vocal hooks, while "The World's Smiling Now" is a wry statement on the modern condition which wouldn't sound out of place on a classic '70s soul album. Centerpiece "We Ain't Getting Any Younger" is a two-part pulsing, shifting slow-burner, an almost Pink Floyd-ish mass of dark clouds through which glimpses of light come and go. "True Nature" gives us an inspiring burst of restrained jazz-funk before "In the Moment" brings us back down to earth with wonderfully arranged swirling horns. The album ends on a down-beat with its title track, a tear-inducing speech to lost loves with soft golden promises that all is not yet lost.

Eternally Even is an album for the world of today, a warning, a promise, and a rewarding musical experience. (www.jimjames.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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1To
December 16th 2016
11:20am

Don’t know why “Here In Spirit” gives me these good vibes, but I love it! Keep it going Jim James.