Friday, March 05, 2004

My Morning Jacket: Neil Influences

mymorningjacket_cville_va012304photo by Rachel Zahumensky

From article (a little old but still good) by Larry Katz :

"Critics hear elements of the Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Wilco, Mercury Rev, the Beach Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even a touch of Glen Campbell in My Morning Jacket. They call the band's music alt-country, psychedelic pop and Southern rock - and that was before My Morning Jacket added a dash of Memphis soul by using horn players recorded at Willie Mitchell's legendary Royal studio on two tracks on 'It Still Moves.'

But, mostly, My Morning Jacket, with its deliberate tempos, emotionally direct guitars, and especially James' yearning high voice, gets compared to the eternally cool Neil Young. Not that that pleases James.

'I don't really think I sound like Neil Young,' he protests. 'It's almost like slapping me in the face. I mean, I love Neil Young. He's one of the greatest artists to ever walk the face of the earth. But at the same time I work very hard at my music. I put all my heart and soul into it. Whether you like it or not doesn't matter. Eventually people will (expletive) stop saying I sound like Neil Young and acknowledge the fact that I sound like myself.'

'It Still Moves' has a lot more going on besides Neil Young moments. The opener, 'Mageetah,' could pass for a baroque '60s pop gem produced by Brian Wilson during his LSD phase. 'Dancefloor' recalls the Band. 'Golden' rides a 'Gentle On My Mind' groove while waxing poetic about rock life on the road. But along with showing plenty of range, My Morning Jacket's songs exude a touching vulnerability that makes critics reference Neil Young and makes James think of watching the Muppets. "

See MMJ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC concert review for more. Also, see more on Neil Young's music and sound.


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