The Best Albums of 2011: #8

My Morning Jacket: Circuital

On Circuital, My Morning Jacket succeeds in bridging the gap between the music of It Still Moves and the ambition Evil Urges. Musically, the album is more focused than its immediate predecessor. Clocking in at just under an hour, Circuital deftly walks the line between progress and familiarity. The opening song “Victory Dance” is a haunting slow-moving tribal movement that starts subtly but ends with a roar. The title track successfully captures the ambiance of the album, but pays homage to classic songs in the MMJ catalog. On “The Day Is Coming,” they channel their inner Seals & Crofts. The track is essentially a mashup of R&B, pop, and alt-rock, with an irresistible chant that starts the song and rings throughout the whole track. On “Wonderful (the way I feel),” the band shows off it’s softer side with a song that brings James’ vocals front and center, unlike some of the other tracks on the album. While surprises on the album are few, if any, the familiarity should serve as comfort food for those fans that felt slighted after Evil Urges.

Select Cuts: Victory Dance, The Day is Coming, Holdin’ on to Black Metal

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