My introduction to My Morning Jacket was 2006's Okonokos, so I needed to catch up and hear what they've recorded since. Evil Urges has less Wilco and more Flaming Lips influences than Okonokos. It misses out on some of the epic trippiness of the live project, but that's as much due to the mix and the studio as it is the material. This is a solid album, even if it doesn't quite top the bar of the earlier work.
There are a couple of Beck-infused songs (Evil Urges and Highly Suspicious) that are interesting but a bit atypical. There are also several retro sections on the album. But, Evil Urges really hits its stride with I'm Amazed. This big arena rocker would be at home on Okonokos. The great harmony at the start of the vocals makes it sound like a live recording, too. I'm Amazed is a lot like Who's Next era Who -- Jim James' vocal has a bit of Roger Daltrey at its roots and the guitar lead is strong and rich even though it's fairly simple. This song also has a great build up.
Look at You ties back to My Morning Jacket's earlier alt country roots. Musically, it has a bit of the same Flaming Lips vibe that I've loved in their songs. This is a simple, sweet song. The effect is powerful: strong lyrics, smooth steel guitar accents, and clean harmonies. The words toy with a religious theme, but there's a purity here.
Give into your urges, get a fresh pour of Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi, and be refreshed.