October 19, 2006

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My Morning Jacket, Okonokos
ATO/RCA Records, 2006

In what could quite possibly come to be known as the Frampton Comes Alive of the ’00s (for jam-hippies at least, all million-billion of them), My Morning Jacket have at last made their secret weapon, their legendary live show, available to Jetta CD players. Where Frampton’s thing was half-baked pop-rock that translated a lot better to the stage than studio, MMJ has had somewhat of the same problem, nearly every album up to this one being for many people more of an “I Went To An Alt-Rock Show And All I Got Was This Groovy Tee Shirt” than something you’d honestly spazz to, but it turns out that their being schizoid Lynyrd Skynyrd-wannabe nancy-boys is workable as long as mousy chicks are screaming. The live version of “Off The Record” is one less-dated example of their liveness pulling off the miraculous, Jim James unleashing the Roger Daltry you’ve always suspected was there, straining mongoloid-like as though the sturdy but repressed pop-dweeb that appeared on Z (let alone the utter, utter wuss of “Heartbrakin Man”) never existed. B+

— Eric W. Saeger