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My Morning Jacket: Circuital

Genre-defying sixth album from Kentuckian rockers.

My Morning Jacket’s first three albums (1999’s Tennessee Fire, 2001’s At Dawn and 2003’s It Still Moves) were epic affairs, the combination of singer Jim James’s echo-drenched falsetto and fuzz-rock riffs the size of mountains suggesting these longhairs from Kentucky had everything needed to ascend to the stadium league.

If the loss of original members Johnny Quaid and Danny Cash prior to the recording of 2004’s experimental Z effectively halted their bandwagon, Circuital – recorded entirely on tape – finally sees them back on the right road.

The Day Is Coming and You Wanna Freak Out are intoxicating blasts of prairie pop, while Holdin’ On To Black Metal is a sinuous groove that is equal parts Santana, The Stones and The Fifth Dimension.

While melancholy closer Movin’ Away suggests a return to the sky-scraping riffs their fans crave may never happen, James’s experimental instincts are to be applauded.

Paul Moody is a writer whose work has appeared in the Classic Rock, NME, Time Out, Uncut, Arena and the Guardian. He is the co-author of The Search for the Perfect Pub and The Rough Pub Guide.