Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Album Review: Jim James - Regions Of Light And Sound

25 January 2013 | 3:30 pm | Steve Bell

An ultimately uplifting and invigorating experience.

More Jim James More Jim James

It's always hard for a popular frontman to spread his wings and attempt a career adjunct, but My Morning Jacket's Jim James has made an exemplary fist of his debut solo outing (not counting 2009's Yim Yames covers EP), Regions Of Light And Sound Of God. A definite labour of love, it fittingly sounds miles removed from the cosmic country of MMJ, with James recording it over two years and playing nearly every instrument himself as he takes us on a beautifully otherworldly journey.

The record's dreamlike fugue seems ambitious without being overcrowded, James building complex moods with simple albeit eclectic instrumentation and recurring motifs; all piano, bass and building strings with plenty of strange noises existing in the margins to add a slightly surreal ambience. His vocals seem intimate throughout, whether hushed or pushed, and add to the considerable intrigue. Opener State Of The Art starts as a simple piano riff before a gradual build drags it into spacey realms, setting the tone for what's to follow. The sound collages underpinning Know Til Now burst into a jazzy coda, while the gorgeous A New Life rides on a minimal bed of shuffling instrumentation before morphing into a jaunty rocker. It's implicitly spiritual at times – harking back to the album's title – especially on the grandiose Of The Mother Again and the luxurious closer God's Love To Deliver.

It's a strange proposition to grasp at first because it's such a different beast to James' past work, but once you let the music envelop you and relax into its myriad charms it all feels perfectly formed and realised. An ultimately uplifting and invigorating experience.