Jim James Sings about God and it is Good

STORY BY Holly Ramos

Published: May 20, 2013

Truly Interesting Music

Jim James, front man of My Morning Jacket has released a solo album called Regions of Light and Sound of God. It is a deeply personal and spiritual project, written, produced and most of the instruments played by Jim, and I am digging it.

Jim is in good company with taking on god in modern popular music. John Coltrane did it and he “soared with gratitude and joy” on A Love Supreme and you could not help going with him, yes? George Harrison hesitated to make “My Sweet Lord” the single for All Things Must Pass. Producer Phil Spector, said it was the hit, but George felt nervous about being seen, labeled vulnerable. Wow. But in the end he went with it, thankfully for us, and for rock and roll.

It is a grand challenge to make great music around the spiritual path and god. It is indeed taking the risk of being seen. So much of wonderful cool music is about fronting, an attitude, the opposite of being vulnerable and honest about your beliefs. It is indeed an art to be mastered and Jim James succeeds.

I am not surprised. The guy has got some serious presence. You can here it on MMJ’s cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man”. You can here it on Jim’s cover, (under the name Yim Yames) of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” and a few other Harrison tracks. You can see his presence when he covers a Bob Dylan song in the film I’m Not Here. Jim James can touch us in a way that not many artists can.

I am in love with the song “Sate of the Art.” There are technical issues on the recording and yet the track transcends them. It shines so bright that he released the “flawed” take, singing about how the Powers going out as the vocal track wavers and cracks.

There are a few other gems on this brave and lovely release. Insiders tell me that Jim is a Kentucky gentleman and again I am not surprised. Check it out. He will be playing a bunch of shows and festivals this summer and celebrating Brooklyn on June 18th.


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