Because the early reports made them seem like a band I would really like, I remember checking out My Morning Jacket’s 2001 At Dawn album, and being totally put off by the production. Maybe there were songs there, maybe Jim James had a great voice, but I really couldn’t tell one way or another.
So I ignored them until 2005’s Z, which I really liked, and have been paying attention to them ever since, though I haven’t liked any of their other albums as much as I liked Z.
Z had quite a few songs I really liked, like the roiling, jammy “Lay Low,” the almost-reggae churn of “Off The Record,” but the song that really grabbed me was the gorgeous, churning “Gideon,” which was built like a lost cut from The Joshua Tree.
“Gideon” starts out with a pair of guitars tumbling over each other and features Jim James’s utterly captivating tenor to its fullest as he shouts the title like it’s the most important thing in the world. After that, “Gideon” builds and builds, amping up the guitars and drums ever so expertly, until it climaxes with a series of long wordless screams from James while the guitars crash against each other and the drums pound anthemically getting larger and larger until it takes up your entire vision.
“Gideon” performed live in 2005
“Gideon” performed with the Boston Pops on Letterman, 2006
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