90FM Album Review: Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God
Daniel Waterman
daniel.d.waterman@uwsp.edu





It’s been almost two years since My Morning Jacket released Circuital. Jim James (Front man of “My Morning Jacket” and “Monsters of folk”) has managed to put together an incredibly well-rounded solo album. He did so while maintaining one of the most extensive touring schedules in rock and roll.

“Regions of Light and Sound of God” which was released February 5th by ATO records is a folky, soulful, and downright intriguing compilation of songs. Listening to one or two tracks doesn’t do the record justice. To fully understand the intricacies Jim James worked into the songs, one must listen to the album in its entirety. Smooth transitions coalesce into making the album seem like one cohesive unit of reverb drenched bliss.

Those familiar with Jim James’ previous works will undoubtedly be surprised by how funky the songs feel. However, upon close listening it’s quickly realized that the songs hold true to Jim James’ folky roots which got him to where he’s at today.

“A New Life” is a shining example of this. Beginning with James on a guitar, he sings, “Hey… Open the door. I want a new life, and here’s what’s more, I want a new life.”

The song quickly picks up steam. A rhythm section infiltrates the chorus, followed by a vibraphone, slide guitar and eventually a horn section. It’s a sensible crescendo executed with grace.

The music video for the first single “Know ‘til Now” is Bold (with a capitol B). It’s shot from an old black and white camera. Jim James is clad in a white suite. He stands with his back to the camera for the entirety of the video. At this point in his career, James doesn’t have to do much to impress people.

The only decent analogy I can come up with for “Regions of Light and Sound of God” is if Marvin Gaye worked out an album with fleet foxes. Aspects of the album, which discern “Regions of Light and Sound of God” from anything else around, is undoubtedly the instrumentation and the vocals. This album is a great addition to what is sure to be a delightful year of music.