Any year My Morning Jacket releases a new album is exciting for me as that usually means a chance to see them live again. And in 2015 we got not one, but two shows in Detroit at The Fillmore. Not only did these shows continue to prove MMJ are one of the best live bands working today, the breadth of their catalog was on full display as they played two completely different shows without a single repeat song. It was certainly one of my top concert highlights of the year and the album the tour supported, The Waterfall, also places as a top musical achievement of 2015.
The band's seventh album, The Waterfall marks a bit of a return to their earlier sound, at times drenched in reverb and echoes. Tracks such as "Like A River" and "Thin Line" reside on that balance between folk, rock and country that the band tows so well. "In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)", "Compound Fracture" and "Tropics (Erase Traces)" all experiment with the rock side of things, while "Get The Point" is a gorgeous ballad with little more than acoustic guitar and Jim James' voice telling the story of a relationship that is over. James is always eager to add some soul to the mix as well as the band does on the album closer "Only Memories Remain", another track that touches on a breakup James went through.
Although I enjoyed 2011's Circuital, The Waterfall was a step above MMJ's prior release, proof that they still have a lot to say and explore musically. An adventurous album covering rock, folk, country and soul, The Waterfall is my #6 album of 2015.
Favorite tracks: "Get The Point", "In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)", "Tropics (Erase Traces)", "Like A River"
The Waterfall was released May 4th, 2015 on ATO/Capitol Records.