Jim James: Regions Of Light and Sound Of God

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jjJim James
Regions Of Light and South of God
(ATO Records)

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Over the years, singer and guitarist Jim James (also known as Yim Yames) has shown his versatility with the development of My Morning Jacket and a wide array of side projects ranging from Monsters of Folk to his work with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. But his new solo record, Regions Of Light and Sound Of God, introduces a very different and compelling sound to his discography.  The nine tracks, all of which he engineered and created by himself, blend his gentle, smooth vocals with a more modern, mysterious and sometimes futuristic sound, while retaining his sense of spirituality and bluegrass spirit.

The album, which is based in part on a 1929 graphic novel by Lynd Ward entitled Gods’ Man, opens with “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U),” which sets the ethereal mood with soft piano and gorgeous vocals developing into a more full-bodied, upbeat sound and marries the ancient and modern.  “Know Til Now” is one of James’ best with a vibe like a danceable version of a Love Boat ballad produced by Stanley Kubrick. The album really works well as a united piece even though there is some really interesting variation such as “Dear One,” which feels a bit like the Flaming Lips, the moody “All Is Forgiven” which features an entrancing, almost Arabic melody and the beautiful  “God’s Love To Deliver,” which has layers of sweet, echoed vocal layers over subdued instruments.  Fans of Jim or any of his incarnations should be very happy with this album, which seems to have come from the heart.

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