Soaking Up And In My Morning Jacket’s Brilliant New Album, The Waterfall

I am a classic rocker at heart, a child of the ’80s… and yet as I get older, I find my musical tastes have expanded and exploded. Bruce and the E Street Band, The Beatles, The Stones, The Who and U2 are almost always on my iPods and iPhones and other iProducts to be named at a later date.

But there are some “contemporary” bands who I also follow with the same vim and vigor… Wilco, The Autumn Defense, Band Of Horses, The Decemberists (whose Saturday show at the Greek was joyous and will be reviewed soon), and of course, my favorite, My Morning Jacket.  Special thanks to Cameron Crowe for the introduction and my brother Dan for the continual push.

The_Waterfall

My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
Am I pre-disposed to like this record? I suppose, but I am not giving anyone a pass. It’s gotta grab me. This record did, from the amazing first single released, “Big Decisions,” to the opening track “Believe (Nobody Knows).” It was also a revelation for me, making me acutely aware of how I actually listen to music.

When we were kids we would lock ourselves away in our rooms and play vinyl over and over and over, getting up only to flip sides… or perhaps dance… Shhh.

So it was with this record, and here is what I realized… For me, the first go ’round is all about the music, the sounds, the tone, the feel. Ironic in that I am a writer and words are my soul, my meaning, my existence.

I let the songs wash over me, flow over me… almost from a distance… And then I start delving in… digging in. The lyrics start popping on the second or third listen… and when they do… Wow… This is also a record I need right now, and that has grasped many things I am grappling to understand in life.

If there are any folks who read my other two blogs, you’ll know that I am on a spiritual journey. Coming back from my first trip to Israel this past November has put me on a new and exciting path. I am open to so many things, and so, as I really took in the words to the opener “Believe (Nobody Knows),” I was floored… It was as if that song was written for me… and THAT is the sign of  a brilliant song… that each of us, as a whole and individuals can identify so strongly and specifically with a piece of music.

“Believe. Believe, Believe. Believe.
Nobody knows… for sure.”

“Roll the dice and sail the ship
And all the world will open… all the time.”

It’s a strange thing when you copy yourself, but if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I love the phrase “musical baptism”… especially coming from a nice Jewish boy.  But when a record is called The Waterfall, that phrase becomes a must use… and that is what this album is to me… an immersion into some amazing spiritual waters.

What is it about a waterfall that makes people so excited? I remember the Road to Hana and being in awe of the falls that were just off the side of the road… Well… in awe when I wasn’t nauseous from all the winding curves.

Waterfalls are magnificent… nature’s shower, bathtub, pool and watering hole all in one place…

Waterfalls are hypnotic… One can sit and stare at them all day… Pondering how much they stay the same and yet, how much they change.

Waterfalls soothe us. There is just something so calming and magical and mystical about them.

a-15-secluded-falls-web-lg

How appropriate then that the title of the new album by My Morning Jacket is The Waterfall, for this is one glorious record that does all of that.

Their music is almost undefineable… which makes it so exciting. Rock, Alternative, Garage, and so many other influences flow through their records with ease and grace. This album could have been made in Laurel Canyon and has echos of that sound, too!

“Get The Point” has hints of Harry Nilsson and even John Denver and not just because of Harry’s classic album The Point .

“Only Memories Remain” sounds like a lush, smoky and slow ‘70s ballad…. Perhaps they are channeling Gino Vannelli. This is a great song to slow dance to.

“In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)”
More timely and powerful lyrics with:
“Again I stopped the waterfall
By simply thinking.
Again I stopped the waterfall
Before my breathing.
Again I stopped the waterfall
By finally feeling.
Again I stopped the waterfall
By just believing.”

Hitting so hard for me right now…

And of course “Big Decisions” takes me on a whole other path… pulling back the curtain and revealing something so raw and honest.

“Sittin’ round wondering just what the hell to do with your life.
Only get one chance but you seem to always think twice.
And I’m getting so tired of trying to always be nice.
You’re sweet and sincere, but so ruled by fear.

What do you want me to do?
Make all the big decisions for you?
Cause I can’t.
Well I can’t.”

images-1

Just… wow! This song got me so excited about this record… but it was later that I really took the lyrics in… really let The Waterfall wash over me in all its power and beauty… and when I did, this song and the whole album moved up onto another level… like the stratosphere. This will not be out of heavy rotation for some time to come…

Now… if I can just get into the KCRW show on May 7, I will be so very happy. Beg, grovel and BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE, BELIEVE!

images

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s