Music Reviews
It Still Moves

My Morning Jacket It Still Moves

(BMG / RCA) Buy it from Insound Rating - 9/10

To say that My Morning Jacket aren't a little out-of-step with prevailing trends of our times would be to slightly understate the situation. They don't wear skinny ties, and they don't take to the road with all of the vigour of a Viking on heat. They just lock themselves away in a barn deep in the heart of Kentucky, writing and recording songs. No wonder the uber-cool fashionistas that crave the image above the content (don't tell me you've never been to an indie night in your whole life?) won't give them the time of day. Which is a real shame, because My Morning Jacket have made an album that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any of the best albums that have been released this year.

It Still Moves is the kind of album that can inspire both wonder and respect in equal measures. Once you hear the wonderful, lilting Mercury Rev-go-to-Hawaii opener that is Magheeta, it's almost as if you are listening to a transmission direct from a world that we've never visited before. In the case of Dancefloors, it's clearly a world where The Band are still performing The Last Waltz.

But maybe I'm being a little pretentious here. What really marks this album out from so many others I've heard this year is the way that My Morning Jacket can take so many influences and ideas, and manage to mix them into a potent brew of psychedelic Americana, and still manage to maintain a coherence and consistency that many of toady's artists can only dream of. They can do slightly malevolent rock (Masterplan), and place them next to jaw-droppingly poignant acoustic ballads (Golden) without breaking the gentle ebb and flow of the album, and in the sheer beauty that is One Big Holiday, they've managed to record a song that makes even The Flaming Lips sound a little, well, soulless.

I wish that I could anchor this review with a few minus points, a few negative factors that would make this sound more like a review, and less like a eulogy. But if I were to do that, then I wouldn't be telling the truth, and to be quite honest, I really can't even begin to talk this album down. I can't even criticise them for being overblown and pretentious for recording all nine minutes and sixteen seconds of I Will Sing you Songs because it just SOUNDS SO GOOD.

We live in a world where we are bombarded with so many so-called 'essential' purchases. Albums are sold on the way the lead singer sneers, the amount of vintage badges on their lapel, or the sheer volume of drugs the band snort, inject or imbibe. To call It Still Moves an essential purchase within that context would be a sin. It Still Moves is an essential purchase simply because you will struggle to hear anything better this year. Doesn't that make a change?