It’s not often that a sequel stands toe-to-toe with the original. In 2015, Kentucky’s own My Morning Jacket released The Waterfall, a departure record that swam in very mellow and bitter waters. Thankfully, the sessions were boiled down with a good bit of leftovers.
Fast forward to 2020 and MMJ now delivers a kind reminder that we can make the best of any situation with music. The Waterfall II is the blazing hot ray of sunshine that was absent from the previous and is a perfect companion to summer’s end. Frontman Jim James claims there is no relation between the two waterfalls, but there is definitely a river running through them.
This release is an optimistic, warm, technicolor catalog of healing during our quarantined summer. MMJ’s signature lush, dreamscape, jammy arrangements are in full soul effect, while a snap of sugar pop creates a sonic milkshake that is refreshing and uplifting. For diehard fans, do not worry; there are plenty of hard-riffing, funk-fused olive branches to go around.
– Chris Rucker