New album, big changes for My Morning Jacket

It’s been a big year for My Morning Jacket.The Kentucky-bred band lost two members, replaced them and released its latest album, “Z,” to strong reviews. “Rolling Stone” said the band was “challenging Wilco’s title as America’s most innovative rock act.” It also was featured in the “New York Times” as well as an interview with National Public Radio.

My Morning Jacket even had a cameo, playing “Freebird,” in Cameron Crowe’s latest film, “Elizabethtown.”

Its latest album marks a departure from My Morning Jacket’s trademark sound.

On its previous three albums, lead singer Jim James recorded his vocals in a grain silo in Shelbyville, KY. James abandoned the silo on “Z,” and the difference is immediately evident. The vocals aren’t drenched in the reverb that marked the band’s last album, “It Still Moves.” On one hand, it’s quintessentially My Morning Jacket. On the other, it’s like nothing the band has ever done before. The result is an immediately more accessible sound that alienates old fans as much as it garners new ones.

With the media frenzy around My Morning Jacket reaching a fever pitch, the band rolls into the Gypsy Tea Room in Dallas on Nov. 18. If buzz is any indication, it may be the last time My Morning Jacket plays such an intimate venue.

– Darren White