With a title like Evil Urges and the somewhat macabre cover image of an eye in a box, the uninitiated would be forgiven for thinking that Kentucky's My Morning Jacket have morphed into a mediocre metal band. Judge not a book by its cover, nor an album by its artwork. After the psychedelic rock offerings of 2003's It Still Moves and 2001's At Dawn, the band's fifth release has stepped away from the reverb-heavy noisemaking which originally garnered them widespread critical acclaim. The sound has since been adopted by a whole slew of imitators, including Band Of Horses and Fleet Foxes, but My Morning Jacket are now concentrating on using a more eclectic range of instrumentation. However fans should fear not; the signature duelling guitars are most definitely back.
With elements of country, rock, prog, pop, and indeed a good mix of other genres, the album is unrelenting in its diversity of sounds. Slow burner Evil Urges sports Kid A style guitar lines, sparse and wide and peppered with electronic whirrs, while Highly Suspicious has pure pop sensibilities; sounding more than a little like Prince, with singer Jim James descending into falsetto territory. In terms of variety, this album is about as widely based as they come.
Complimenting this, the band tip their hats to their roots and with I'm Amazed, which is complete country rock, so much so in fact, it could almost be the work of an artist like Garth Brooks.
Evil Urges is a curious package. You are treated to a veritable feast of different musical styles and genres, but often feel a little perplexed by the fare on offer. The sheer amount of choice is befuddling, but somehow, in a strange way, it all works. And it works well. --Kate Sharp
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