My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves (Deluxe Edition) album review

Mournful Americana-mongers give their breakthrough album some spit and polish.

My Morning Jacket It Still Moves album cover

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It’s difficult to believe that My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James considered 2003’s It Still Moves – for many fans their finest hour – “unfinished”. But while the word ‘remastered’ is often shorthand for ‘unnecessary tinkering to shift more units to suckers’, in this case the fresh lick of paint does actually show up and sparkle.

While it’s still inescapably haunting, James’ beautifully sad vocals (recorded in a grain silo for extra echoey loneliness) and duvet-warm layers of reverb plucking the heartstrings like a master harpist, a fog has lifted and the country guitar solos that were under there all along come gleaming to the fore.

This is a special album, taking a layered Beach Boys influence out into the woods, setting the ghost of The Band on it, dropping a dose of psych rock and brassy Stax soul and letting it whittle something truly immersive and beautiful. The likes of Band Of Horses owe it an enormous debt.

It’s rounded out with a second disc of bonus tracks and skeletal demos, including an evocative bit of flamenco in En La Ceremony. But even without the extras, it’s worth a listen for the gorgeous main event.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.