October 29, 2021

New My Morning Jacket is Retro Lazy


If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I often say that some music is “retro but fresh”. What I mean by that is that while it hearkens back to earlier styles, the artists have found something new to say, or incorporated elements of modern style into the album.

The latest album by My Morning Jacket, lazily labeled My Morning Jacket, is not fresh. It’s retro, too retro actually, but also stale and derivative. Every song on the album sounds like an outtake from a 1970s album. Not only are the riffs, beats, and melodies taken directly out of some 70s artist’s repertoire, even the vocals are copies.

My “favorite” song on the album, “In Color”, is a direct pull from mid-70s progressive rock They didn’t even bother to copy something from the genre’s heyday in the early 70s. It’s as if Greg Lake had joined mid-70s Genesis, recorded this song, and then decided it was an embarrassment and they would not speak of it again. Other songs are lifts from 70s rock radio and even Bob Dylan during his worst period.

Listening to My Morning Jacket, gave me the impression of a bunch of musicians, sitting around during the pandemic with little to show for it who suddenly said “Hey! I know. Let’s see if we can write a song that will sound exactly like an outtake from a great band of the 70s only when they were going through a divorce or something!” That’s what it sounds like – a joke. That’s fine when you are an unknown band or a bunch of college students with ukuleles recording YouTube videos. For a group the stature of My Morning Jacket, this is an embarrassment.

I won’t bore you with the play by play that is usual for this blog. It’s not worth your time or mine. While My Morning Jacket is certainly retro, it’s about as fresh as month old cheese left in the sun. Even the raccoons won’t want this because it stinks too much. Skip this album and listen to just about any other album of theirs.