This iTunes session is a sequel of sorts to the band’s 2000 EP My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style, a collection of Christmas covers, with some of their own songs thrown in. A lot has happened to the band since 2000, in terms of popularity, lineup changes, and the band’s sound. As they note in the half-hour interview that’s included as a bonus, they’ve expanded their sound and what they’re able to do in recent years.
That’s clear here, even with no complete left turns. Before the Head and the Heart join in on harmonies and things get spacier, Jim James sings “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” like an old-time pop crooner, singing over tasteful piano, drums and bass. It’s quite gorgeous, as is most of the EP. Their approach here is towards beauty, whether on one of the prettiest Circuital tracks, “Wonderful”; the sweet new countrified Christmas song “Welcome Home”; a lovely, lonely version of “When the Bells Start Ringing”; or Charles Brown’s sad soul ballad “Please Come Home for Christmas”, sung with a lot of action and drama by James.