Jim James has always been about that blue tuxedo, 70s slow dance, soul prom sound. In addition to throwing actual prom shows with My Morning Jacket, he’s readily embraced kitschy sentimental sounds and ideas that may have been seen as tacky to other singers save for Destroyer. His saving grace is a winking sense of humor (that people often don’t catch) and a voice that made him rock’s recipient of the “Don’t Leave Your Girl Around Me” Award from 2003-08 (current titleholder: Gary Clark Jr.).

For his first single from his first solo album, the erswhile Yim Yames brings in saxomophones, glorious haze, up-tempo drums, and a low-lidded funk that reminds me of his most fun MMJ work (It Still Moves and Z). The estimable Eric Harvey does the leg work at Pitchfork, calling it stunning because of “James’ earthy tenor, and..that voice…surrounded by a spaced-out soul soundtrack that sounds like scuffed-up studio tapes slipped out of the Motown studios as they edged toward their late-1960s flower-power moment.” I think you understand where I’m going with this…


Know Til Now by Jim James

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