Jim James | Regions Of Light And Sound Of God Review

The musician Jim James is best known for his work with Kentucky based band My Morning Jacket, also he has been known to lend his unique vocal talent to another act, Monsters of Folk. Most recently though, James has released his first full length solo effort, ostentatiously titled Regions Of Light And Sound Of God. The album starts off with the track State Of The Art (A.E.I.O.U) which is at first slowly sung by James while being accompanied by a simple piano progression, as the song continues the level of complexity increases to a satisfying finish.  As well, A New Life stands out as a memorable track due to its explosive Elvis Presley style finish, something that is not often heard even with the slew of reboot rock acts currently making music today.  All Is Forgiven is part jazz lounge song and part revival hymn, the result is darkly toned percussion driven track that leaves an impression.    

The thing that makes Jim James such an appreciated singer is his ability to create seemingly timeless music. There is just enough innovation on this album to call it something new, but it also illustrates this musician’s love and respect for classic rock and others that have come before him, it’s palpable, and you can hear it on every track on Regions Of Light And Sound Of God.  

Note: Back in 1992 the Beastie Boys released an album called Check Your Head and on this album there’s this song that just might have been one of the Beastie Boys miracles. It is not one of the most notable of the Beastie Boys catalogue; however its lyrics speak of a lad with a penchant for rockin’. This song’s lyrics are about a musician who is going to wake you up, send out love to all corners of the land and brings people together through musical harmony. The name of the track is Jimmy James and it describes a certain artist quite well, aside from the whole “Bass from the back of my car feels soothing. Eight bazookas is what I'm using…” this classic hip-hop song is pretty on the nose.  So, does this mean that the coming of Jimmy or Jim James was foretold by the Beastie Boys

Related Posts: Monsters of Folk


The Wallpaper | A Review of Somewhere

The Wallpaper is a six piece band hailing from Rochester New York. This relatively unknown band came out with their second album in late February called Somewhere. Their first called Never Never was released back in 2011 and it had a few tracks that were particularly memorable such as Rowboats and Born There. This album leaned more heavily on the musical influences of Neutral Milk Hotel. Which is marginally different from the style that The Wallpaper’s seem to be going for on Somewhere.  The new album is centered more in the vein of a pop alternative style along the lines of The Pixies or if you want a comparison with some contemporaries they are also reminiscent of Band of Horses, The New Pornographers or even Clem Snide.

What gives the songs that populate Somewhere distinction is the tone of the album, it’s pleasant and lighthearted while still maintaining a certain emotional gravity. These unassuming characteristics of the music are what make this band very approachable. The content of the songs range from one to the next but they mostly deal with heartache. The album is called Somewhere but you get the feeling that the sentiment behind the album has more to do with being Anywhere… but here. That sense of restlessness is captured throughout this album in each of its songs, but the ones that excel are Black Holes, Gasoline Rainbows and Better.

The first day of Spring might not be until the 20th of March but when you hear The Wallpaper’s sophomore album Somewhere you might just start feeling like it has already come.