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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 July 2004
I grew up listening to older brothers' music, which consisted of Crosby, Stills etc, Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd etc. Incessantly. This albums sounds like all these guys got together in someone's barn one weekend and had one humdinger of a jam, with it all recorded for posterity on a 4 track. More upbeat and rockier than previous MMJ, some great guitar work, real drums, well penned songs, great fun. In a way, comparing them to all these old bands doesnt do MMJ justice, there're more than a period tribute band. Dancefloors rocks, Golden has some good accoustic guitar work, the handover between Easy Morning Rebel and Run Thru sounds exciting, not something you can say that often nowadays. Probably wont grab you at first, there's a lot of music. If you like electric Americana with homespun feel then this should push buttons. Anyway they must be good - all good bands have daft names.
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on 2 June 2016
One of my top ten albums (along with At Dawn), 5 stars all the way, but this reissue is inferior to the original.
I played both copies back to back and the new version has louder punchier guitars and more jazzy horn sections, sounding like more recent MMJ albums.
Give me the lo-fi reverb drenched original any day.
Disc 2 has 3 great new unreleased tracks and early demo's which are ok.
How could Steam Engine be improved anyhow???
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 August 2009
I am a recent convert to 'My Morning Jacket' and a very happy one too, I am in the process of getting all of thier recordings and this is the third I bought. It is twelve tracks long and it would be unfair to call any of them fillers, although their broad styles may be a bit too 'Catholic' for some tastes. That said they have retained thier alt country routes with much more being thrown in and with dramatically impressive results. The opening 'Mahgeetah' is just stunning and has a very typical trait of having a false ending then comes back with even more cracking guitar riffs. Compare that to 'Golden' and it would be easy to think they were from two completely different bands as it is more laid back guitar plucking and summer afternoon dreamy, and I mean that in a very good way.There is the heartbreakingly honest and soulful 'Just one thing' which just adds to the rich mix of styles and use of an almost wall of sound aural brilliance. I have also got thier live 'Okonokos' album where some of these tracks are played and they are even better. A wonderful band and a wonderful record.
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on 12 September 2003
at first i was dissapointed as i was wanting 'at dawn pt2', but theres been development here, which after some time shows to be a good thing.
My morning jacket have made an album to which at least half of could be danced to. It rock basically, its bar room country rock and roll at times, but the vocals, reverb and space firmly stamp 'MMJ' all over it. Jim james has created an all rounder, which this time seems more consistant, varied and even has a wonderful horn section.
The sad slow songs are less frequent but still there, and are what jim james sounds like he is on this planet for.
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VINE VOICEon 8 September 2003
This is by far one of the most intetersting recordings I've heard this year, forget The Thrills Parsons lite country do dad this is the real McCoy.
The influences are pretty clear cut and the resultant joyous sound is what you may have got if The Stones had struck up with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the JB horn section and this is after just one listen.
Great stuff
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on 15 June 2008
The Louisville, Kentucky band's third full-length is a whopping 75-minute set recorded in a grain silo and positively swimming in reverb. By eschewing modern recording techniques altogether they are taking a big risk on this, their first for a major label, but is with the swagger of a hard-touring band that they silence the doubters. For 'It Still Moves' is an epic take on classic Americana, an unashamed poem to the redemtive power of the guitar solo, sometimes affording some extraordinarily satisfying rocking out. But there are also the swooning ballads in Jim James' heartbreaking falsetto which recalls an alt-country Thom Yorke.

Be it rock and roll or 'twangcore', My Morning Jacket are not simply fetishising musical moods that probably pre-date the band members' birth, for in Jim James they have a songwriter with exceptional gifts. The likes of 'Golden', 'Just One Thing' and 'Steam Engine' could grace an classic American rock record, and deserve to be granted the same status. Shades of country, folk, rock - and on 'Mahgeeta', Brian Wilson's wide-eyed psychedelic pop - all bubble up in It Still Moves' sonic stew. The humid Kentucky air is almost palpable in the reverb-thick ambience on the record, untampered by post-production trickery in the way that marks their subsequent album 'Z' as a departure. The recording quality hampers the record at the times ('Dancefloor') the band try to embrace Stax soul where the honking brass sounds wrong in less polished recording conditions. On a couple of tracks like this it's as if we're listening to a concert as opposed to a studio album, and in a way we are.

It is the widescreen emotionalism of the 'I Will Sing You Songs' and 'One In The Same' that disarm the listener most, the plaintitive singing pitched somewhere between Neil Young, Wayne Coyne and the aforementioned Radiohead frontman. The former of these two songs does outstay its welcome somewhat, clocking in at over eight minutes and including a dubby, prog-rock finale that suggests a place for Pink Floyd somewhere in James's record collection. The excessive song lengths make 'It Still Moves' a bit heavy for one sitting, and a little editing might have taken this to another level. It's never a dull listen though, with the likes of 'Run Thru' providing all the guiltily pleasurable guitar solos you could ever want. Another near-classic from one of the great modern bands.
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on 18 September 2003
I bought this album fired up by the glowing reviews I'd read. It might yet turn out to be the glorious album that many of the reviewers promised and I must admit it is growing, albeit fairly slowly, with progessive listenings. But I suspect that early listenings might be for others, like they were for me, difficult. The major reason? The production! This album sounds like it was recorded in a huge tin-can with masses of reverb further applied for good measure. The result is a largely an indistinct aural mess at times which is a great pity since there are some excellent hooks and melodies.
The second track 'Dancefloors' seems to epitomise both the album's strengths and weaknesses. A catchy track with more than a nod to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers and Neil Young, is uplifting, helped by a punctuating Stax-style horn section. It would be great if you could hear everything clearly but unfortunately it all gets lost in a soggy quagmire of sound. The problem is compounded by the fact on this track as on some others in that the band seems uncertain how to end the song. My advice to would be purchasers would be, if you can get through the sound, the album is worth buying. To the band, get a good producer - a bright future could await.
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on 13 April 2014
I bought this back when it was released, probably after reading a Q Magazine review, and didn't like it. I didn't like Jim's vocal reverb, or the way he seemed to be singing slightly sharp all the time, so I judged it too quickly and forgot it. I came across the CD out in my garage and played it again out of curiosity 2 or 3 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Seven years older and I heard it totally differently - I love country, rock, americana, and big expansive music and this is all of the above at its best. I now have 3 preschool children who like to see music on the TV so I've ordered the DVD of Okonokos for them. No X-Factor in our house.
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on 10 September 2003
This album seems to have divided My Morning Jacket fans down the middle - some praise the improved guitar work while others have voiced concerns that the band appear to be going down the dreaded "jam band" route.
Well, for what it's worth, I think it's their best album yet. 'At Dawn' had moments of beauty and some wonderful songwriting, but it was let down by a weak production and a few tracks that drifted on and on without ever really going anywhere. This time round, you still get the typically generous 72 minutes of music spread across 12 tracks - yes, that's six minutes a track - but this time, they chop and change and go off to different places, keeping the sound fresh and the listener hooked. 'Dancefloors' and 'Masterplan' between them are worth the money alone - if Oasis had been from the Midwest and had been able to write long but interesting songs, they might have sounded this good. If the Flaming Lips wrote countrified rock and roll, they would sound like this.
Jim James still sounds like Neil Young when he sings, but the material they play gets more and more original with every new release. If you're new to the band, this is as good a place to start as any. If you're an existing fan, you won't be disappointed.
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on 10 April 2008
MMJ are in my opinion one of the greatest bands operating in the world today. This is there finest work to date. The sound alone is amazing. It's a rich, swampy, bluesy, country sound topped with gloriously pitchy vocals. The songwriting is brilliant too - exhilirating but by no means frivolous and the lyrics are interesting for a change too.

I played this to a fifty year old Led Zep fan and he was in no doubt that he had not heard anything this good in 30 odd years. I unreservedly recommend this to one and all with an ear for southern rock. It's a major grower though so if you're new to MMJ I urge perseverance (Mr. Kilpatrick) - you won't be disappointed.
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