Well here’s the Recipe for a 21st Century Supergroup!
One part My Morning Jacket (Jim James)
Two parts Bright Eyes (Connor Oberst and Mike Mogis)
A splash of M. Ward.
Blend with Plenty of Guitars and Strings.
Serve hot on a bed of al dente Production!
These guys have been playing shows together since 2004 and I guess we can forgive them for taking so long to record this album, considering they’re some of the busiest individuals and the brightest stars in the game at the moment.
Though all the players in this production share a lot of common ground musically, particularly James and Ward, with their penchant for reverb and creating the space for it fill. There is also little doubt as to who is at the helm of each song, so distinct is each singers individuality.
Opening with “Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)” amidst flurry of strings, the delightful voice of Mr. James soars, my hopes were high! It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a fan boy when it comes to MMJ, having caught them in action on their Australian Tour earlier this year only confirmed their greatness in this fans opinion.
“Whole Lotta Losin” and “Baby Boomer” would sound very much at home on one of M. Ward’s own albums. It goes without saying that Oberst has his time to shine as well throughout MOF and dominates when his intense, trembling voice is given the spotlight.
When it all comes together as a more collaborative effort, as with “Magic Maker” it really is something special, not saying that the rest isn’t special, it’s just that they could have just as easily put together a compilation album of out takes from their own albums, so strong is their individual presence.
It’s hard to pick standout tracks, as they’re all standouts in their own right! But if I was pushed, I’d say “Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)”, “Say Please”, “The Right Place”, “Man Named Truth”, “Magic Marker” and “Ahead of the Curve” are the true standouts.
I’d give this 4.5 out of 5