Fans already know that My Morning Jacket is one of those rare bands with the imagination and collective self-esteem to create new personas to fit a particular occasion, usually accompanied by a theatrical flair that completes the sale. It’s fitting, then, that iTunes Live from Las Vegas at the Palms, a six-song EP available only via iTunes, finds Jim James and associates reinventing themselves somewhere between Quiet Storm soul balladeers and a cummerbund-rocking wedding band.
The session’s overall vibe falls very close to the mellow middle section of Evil Urges, complete with inventive reworkings of older songs like “Knot Comes Loose”—which gains a gorgeous piano and pedal steel coda—and the relatively rare “Tonight I Want to Celebrate With You”. “From Nashville to Kentucky” also receives the makeover treatment, featuring a Carl Broemel saxophone solo in an arrangement similar to the one played on the band’s 2008 tour.
iTunes Live from Las Vegas at the Palms
US: 13 Jan 2009
UK: 13 Jan 2009
Serious MMJ devotees will probably be most interested in the EP for its one new song, “Dear Wife”. Although there’s little revelatory about it per se, it’s a pleasant enough love song that fits right in with the session’s candlelit vibe. So with a word of caution to those who prefer the band’s jammier side, iTunes Live from Las Vegas at the Palms comes highly recommended—especially as the soundtrack for a late-night bottle of wine with the one you adore.
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