Inspired by the beauty of their surroundings, cosmic rockers My Morning Jacket have returned with a remarkable and ambitious record
he Waterfall is My Morning Jacket’s seventh full-length record. The follow-up to 2011’s Circuital was recorded at Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, California. With the Pacific Ocean on their doorstep and natural beauty all around, Jim James and his bandmates were inspired to create an album in tune with their surroundings.
A sense of isolated serenity can be heard throughout the record, it is free and soaring – rooted in both the spiritual and natural – and a psychedelic jam session held under the stars. There are moments of calm, such as the acoustic Get The Point and the tranquil opening to Tropics (Erase Traces) before it takes flight. Mainly though, this is the sound of a band striking the perfect balance between the early country rock of It Still Moves and the more experimental side of later works such as Evil Urges.
Within this middle ground there is space for some staggeringly beautiful songs. Like A River shimmers with a Déjà Vu style glow and the constantly metamorphosing In Its Infancy (The Waterfall) is a genre-defying highlights reel of everything that the band does so well. Big Decisions is the kind of sweeping guitar anthem James and company have always excelled at and album closer Only Memories Remain is a meandering river flowing towards the sea.
By channelling their surroundings and spiritual connection to earth, My Morning Jacket have created a career highlight. You are left with the sound of a band embracing their unique journey, as well as the present they find themselves in. This convergence of the elements and history makes The Waterfall a special achievement.
Verdict: A sonic assault on the senses.
Listen to the official audio release of Big Decisions, from The Waterfall, via the ‘visualiser’ video below…