My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James is striking out on his own, his first solo album “Regions of Light and Sound of God” is widely reported to be directly inspired by “God’s Man,” a 1929 woodcut novel by Lynd Ward. But, judging from the new single “A New Life,” James is getting inspire from some classic pop icons as well.
“Life” begins as a sparse, acoustic ditty that’s less bombastic than much of MMJ’s output, and recalls his fascination with George Harrison at his most stripped-down (he paid tribe to the former Beatle on a 2009 covers EP).
James’ haunting voice, some faraway percussion and a smooth, melodic bassline eventually give way to an old-fashioned rock-meets-Motown sound, buoyed by some horns, strings and various upbeat instruments. That’s when James’ take on Vegas-era Elvis kicks in.
It’s an alternately somber and joyous four-and-a-half minutes, like all great pop songs should be.
“Regions of Light and Sound of God” is out February 5.
What do you think of the song?