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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
By HANNAH ELLIOTT, Robinson High
Sometimes I forget why I love music, and for the first time in a while, I remembered. Jim James, the frontman of My Morning Jacket, hit the spot with his new album, refreshing my thirst for good music. Before I listened, I really wasn’t too familiar with his work, so my excitement is completely unbiased. Sort of straying away from the traditional sounds of My Morning Jacket, while not going too far. The album is part of James’ personal reinvention, which results in honest lyrics and sound. You can actually feel the sincerity oozing from each note.
The vocals run the show, and bring each song to its highest point. The effortlessly smooth yet vulnerable voice and the delicate tone are a combination for the books. Each is sung with a sense of heartfelt nostalgia and optimism for the future. The reverb, so meticulously used, makes his voice irresistibly haunting.
A New Life starts gently and James’ vocals are hypnotizing, carefully reeling you in as he sings “Babe, let’s get one thing clear, there’s much more stardust when you’re near.” Then, the percussion comes in and gospel-y elements start to appear and it evolves into a whole new song. The live version he did with the Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon is a must see (bit.ly/YzkFc4). If you took the time to read this, you have to go watch that video, seriously.
Of the Mother Again is an airier song. The use of strings layered in with the rest of the tiers of musical genius is admirable. Know Til Now was the first song I heard and it started with a Radiohead-like hook and almost R&B beat. This tune can only be described as groovy.
The use of an orchestra is beautifully executed in Actress. The vocals sound a bit different in this song, but musically it is well put together. It makes me want to be on a boat, floating around surrounded by bright colors.
Though not all the songs are fast and pop-y, they all are happy songs. Whenever I have described something as haunting in the past, the songs have had a melancholy vibe. But, the haunting aspects in this album leave me with a lingering warm and fuzzy feeling. Unlike so many albums, the music is not hard to grasp. James captivates his audience with his straightforwardness and personality that you get to know through each song, rather than using gimmicks and ambiguity to intimidate the listener into liking the music. This album, even if it isn’t your typical cup of tea, is worth the listen and is quality work that won’t disappear into irrelevancy anytime soon. I can tell James is setting the stage for much more to come.