Morning Jacket Okonokos (ATO Records; Sep.
26, 2006) When My Morning Jacket took command of the Lobero Theater late last year, they did so
having come directly from two nights at San Francisco’s Fillmore
Theater. Their escapades at the legendary bay
area venue have since found their way onto a live audio release
with an accompanying DVD. Okonokos sees the
Kentucky-based band of renegades charge their way through what
essentially equates to a “best of” selection. But the selected
compositions do not necessarily represent the band’s finest
recorded moments, mind you, as it is more their execution that
effortlessly solicits such a paramount bestowment.
My Morning Jacket ease their way into the recording via the
gorgeously seductive “Wordless Chorus.” “It Beats For You” quickens
the tempo and by the time the ringing guitar and thumping bass of
“One Big Holiday” arrive, My Morning Jacket is fully immersed a
rock and roll drenching. Jim James pushes his vocals beyond their
limits and they gloriously screech and crack in response. Having
recently delivered a beautifully subtle and captivating solo set
when he breezed through town in support of John Prine, this
recorded excursion captures James in all of his overstated and
As well as traversing a selection of compositions from their
latest release, Z, the band bounds through its hook
ladened back catalogue. “Lowdown” and “Xmas Curtain” are
splendid inclusions from At Dawn while their renditions of
“Golden,” “One Big Holiday” and “I Will Sing Songs” do superb
justice to their 2003 release It Still Moves . Many bands
approach a live recording by doing something different — acoustic
renditions, walk-on guest stars, or even collaborations with
symphony orchestras — but this band is having none that.
Okonokos sees My Morning Jacket raw and personal — and all
the better for it.