Z (My Morning Jacket album)
|Studio album by My Morning Jacket|
|Released||October 4, 2005|
|Recorded||Allaire Studios, Shokan, New York, United States|
|Genre||Psychedelic rock, art rock, indie rock|
|Producer||John Leckie, Jim James|
|My Morning Jacket chronology|
|Singles from Z|
|The A.V. Club||(very positive) |
Z is the fourth studio album by psychedelic rock band My Morning Jacket. This collection features a much spacier and more polished sound than previous releases, making heavy use of synthesizers throughout and incorporating reggae and dub influences. The heavy reverb that was a defining characteristic of the band's prior recordings is largely absent. The songs on the album are more focused and shorter in length compared to the band's previous albums.
A double-live album, Okonokos, was recorded at the end of the Z Tour and was released on September 26, 2006; it features live versions of eight of Z's 10 songs.
Production was headed by John Leckie, famous for previous work with bands such as The Stone Roses and Radiohead. This is the first My Morning Jacket album to feature a producer, as vocalist Jim James had assumed the production duties on the band's previous albums. The album marks another first, as the band recorded away from the Quaid family farm which had served as the inspiration for their first three albums. Instead, My Morning Jacket decided to record in New York's Allaire Studios, nestled deep in the Catskill Mountains. The change of scenery, influence of an experienced producer, and the addition of two new members contributed heavily to the transformation of the band's sound.
The album's first song, "Wordless Chorus", is a staple in the band's live performances and has been played live with musician Erykah Badu. Although the fourth track, "What a Wonderful Man" has an upbeat, happy sound, singer Jim James stated in "Velocity Weekly" that the song was written as a tribute to friend (and former bandmate) Aaron Todovich, who had committed suicide. The closing track, "Dondante", is also a tribute to his friend Aaron Todovich, as explained in the VH1 Storytellers performance of the track on June 3, 2011.
Digital rights management
The CD was one of the more high-profile releases in 2005 featuring digital rights management technology to prohibit owners from playing the music on a computer or creating digital copies. United States pressings of this CD contain MediaMax CD-3 by SunnComm. The band's manager, Mike Martinovich, expressed their dissatisfaction with the technology and it was abandoned on subsequent releases. The band themselves provided information on their website about how to bypass the software, and also offered to burn individual copies of the album for fans, free of copy-protection software.
Technically, both Z and Illinois were tied for the highest Metacritic rating in 2005, with a score of 90 each. However, the score for Illinois was based on a larger overall number of reviews: 40, compared to 31 for Z.
Online music magazine Pitchfork Media placed Z at number 146 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s, calling it My Morning Jacket's OK Computer. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album at number 457 on its list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
All songs written by Jim James, except where noted:
- "Wordless Chorus" – 4:12
- "It Beats 4 U" – 3:46
- "Gideon" – 3:39
- "What a Wonderful Man" – 2:25
- "Off the Record" (James, Tom Blankenship, Patrick Hallahan) – 5:33
- "Into the Woods" – 5:21
- "Anytime" – 3:56
- "Lay Low" – 6:05
- "Knot Comes Loose" – 4:02
- "Dondante" – 8:01
The U.S.and Japanese pressing of the album contains the B-side "Chills"; digital copies include the other b-side "How Could I Know" (length 5:27) as well.
- My Morning Jacket
- Tom Blankenship – bass guitar
- Carl Broemel – guitar, vocals, pedal steel, saxophone
- Patrick Hallahan – drums, percussion
- Jim James – vocals, lead and rhythm guitars
- Bo Koster – keyboards, vocals, piano, organ, looping, percussion
- Additional musicians
- Andrew Bird – strings, and whistles on "Gideon", "Into the Woods", and "It Beats 4 U"
- M. Ward – acoustic guitar and choirs on "Into the Woods"
- Katie Beach
- Guy Burwel
- Nicolai Denchev
- Mike Fulkerson
- Brandon Jones
- Kathleen Lolley
|Worldwide||October 4, 2005||Badman||LP||947|
|United States||ATO/RCA||Compact Disc||71067|
†This edition includes the bonus track "Chills"
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- "Z Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
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- "CG: my morning jacket". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
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- "My Morning Jacket: Z < PopMatters". Retrieved 2012-09-20.
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- "Are You Infected by Sony-BMG's Rootkit?". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- Brian Hiatt (2005-12-31). "Copy-Protection Troubles Grow". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- James Montgomery (2005-12-16). "My Morning Jacket Tackle Copy-Protection Software Problems - By Burning CDs For Fans". MTV. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
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- "Best Music and Albums for 2005". Metacritic. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
- "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. September 28, 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2009.
- Wenner, Jann S., ed. (2012). Rolling Stone - Special Collectors Issue - The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. USA: Wenner Media Specials. ISBN 978-7098934196