Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God

My Morning Jacket's Jim James speaks of his decidedly cosmic Regions of Light and Sound of God (February 5, ATO) as a "hazy dream", an apt take on what has turned out to be a great example of the quintessential "solo album." Self-produced and engineered and with James handling all the instruments himself, the collection of nine songs could be described as well as self-absorbed in the best sense of the word, a truly personal and unpredictable musical statement that seems to flow from the deep recesses of the imaginative mind of a gifted musician and musicologist. James tells of how many of these songs came to him as he took long walks, how he had a "full vision" of their structure and sound "before I even recorded one note." The result is an adventurous mishmoshed mashup of disparate styles -- funk, folk and everything in between -- that encompass odd time signatures, eclectic instrumentation and James' boyish croon. We weren't quite sure what James meant when he described Regions of Light as sounding like "the past of the future" but what's clear is that trying to understand the impetus is far less important than the experience itself. Dive in.

Jim James - 'Dear One' (from Regions of Light and Sound of God)

Jim James - 'A New Life' (from Regions of Light and Sound of God)