Reviewed by James Lavender
The Waterfall is the latest release from American rock band, My Morning Jacket. It is their seventh album and the first of two new records coming out from the Louisville outfit over the next two years.
The Waterfall makes for an interesting listening experience. If you could summarise it, you would say it is Fleet Foxes/Crosby, Stills and Nash Americana meet Pink Floyd-era Dark Side of the Moon. The location of the recording, Panoramic House in Stinson Beach, certainly influenced the feel of the album, with lead singer Jim James saying “…every record has the spirit of where we made it,” James explains in a statement. “Stinson Beach was so psychedelic and focused. It was almost like we lived on our own little moon out there. It feels like you’re up in the sky.”
The record kicks straight in with a simple, enticing keyboard melody in ‘Believe (Nobody Knows)’. But then the second song ‘Compound Fracture’ reveals a more intricate and challenging album. There is a split between a folksy side and a more classic rock side of the album. The folk acoustic side is captured perfectly in the tracks ‘Like A River’, and ‘Get The Point’, which is a wonderful folksy ballad, complete with country slide guitar.
In contrast, there are the rockier tracks such as ‘In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)’, which does sound like a Pink Floyd song, even in the way that one of the backing vocalists has a voice like Roger Waters. Other Floyd influences are detected on Only Memories, which sounds a lot like ‘Eclipse’ from The Dark Side of the Moon album.
Throughout the album, Jim James’ voice holds the album together with can be equally harsh and haunting. Likewise, Carl Broemel’s guitar work, particularly on ’Thin Line’ and ‘Big Decisions’ is superb. Overall, the album makes for an interesting and creative piece of American rock music.
Recommended Song: In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)