My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James’ politically charged solo album Eternally Even brought him critical recognition on its release in 2016, but he’s stepped back in time in more ways than one with his new record Tribute To 2. It harks back to his 2009 EP of covers, Tribute To, but he’s picked another set of gems to set about. Whereas the original was a set of songs by George Harrison, this time boundries have been blurred and cost as he’s picked tracks ranging from early 20th century standards by Ray Noble and Al Bowlly (“Midnight, the Stars and You,” “Love is the Sweetest Thing”) and 1960’s songs by Willie Nelson and Sonny & Cher to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 1970 breakthrough hit “Lucky Man” and 1990’s releases by Abbey Lincoln and Diane Izzo.
He’s just released his version of the Beach Boys track ‘I just wasn’t made for these times’ taken from there seminal Pet Sounds record “‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times’ is a song that has spoken to me very deeply from the first time I heard it,” says Jim James. “So often, many of us just feel like we don’t fit in, like somehow we were dropped into the wrong life at the wrong time. This song has such a beautiful way of resonating with that energy and relating to the pain of life on earth, but also offering hope and comfort in the beautiful sounds of togetherness.”
He brings some of his own personality to the song without stepping too far away from the Beach Boys. Its slow, dressed up with lush strings, stabs of brass and beautiful production, although his voice has been treated with the same Brian Wilson echo. It’s lovely, relaxed, pull the covers up tight over you sort of music.
Tribute To 2 will be released on December 8 via ATO Records, alongside a reissue of the original EP.