Sunday, August 16, 2009

First Listen: Yim Yames, Tribute To

Yim Yames is, obviously, the flimsy pseudonym of Jim James, leader of My Morning Jacket. In 2001, not long after George Harrison died, James sequestered himself in a studio and laid down these six songs. They're all Harrison numbers, two from the Beatles and the other four from Harrison's magnum opus, All Things Must Pass. Now, finally, they're out and available. And they're astonishingly beautiful.

James is obviously entranced with these songs, but more than that, he's dealing with his grief through them. His high, aching voice works wonders with "Long, Long, Long," and James actually makes "Love You To" sparkling and pretty. But it's the final two tracks, "The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" and "All Things Must Pass," that truly shine. These are great, great songs - Harrison was in many ways the equal of his more celebrated fellow Beatles Lennon and McCartney - performed with love and a crushing sense of loss. Tribute To is just perfect.

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