Jim James Regions of Light and Sound of God

Jim James Regions of Light and Sound of God
6
My Morning Jacket's last few albums have been stylistically scattershot, so it's unsurprising that frontman Jim James's debut solo LP finds him breaking free of the band's guitar-obsessed, Southern rock sound. The nine songs on Regions of Light and Sound of God are anchored by hypnotic bass grooves and disco-dazzled synths, with acoustic guitars and strings sometimes making their way into the mix. This soul-flavoured sound shines on the excellent first half. "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)" opens the album with a moody piano riff that sounds like a chilly reworking of Beck's "Where It's At," while "Know Til Now" and "Dear One" anchor their cyclical instrumental motifs with toe-tapping rhythms. Unfortunately, the quality dips in the second half, as "Actress" suffers from orchestral bloat and "All is Forgiven" is an Eastern-tinged pastiche. Fans will be best served listening to side one and never flipping the record over. (ATO)