Yim Yames: Tribute To

Music Reviews Yim Yames
Yim Yames: Tribute To

My Morning Jacket singer adopts silly pseudonym, lionizes George Harrison

In 2001, George Harrison’s passing so moved My Morning Jacket singer Jim James that he recorded six solo covers with just himself, an acoustic guitar, and enough reverb to trap the ghost of the Quiet One for a few measures. In 2009, James got around the releasing the recordings as an EP, Tribute To. Drawing from Harrison’s Beatles output as well as his solo material, these skeletal songs are somberly reverent, yet James avoids easy, painted-on intimacy and dramatic eulogizing. “My Sweet Lord” bursts with Technicolor layered vocals, redeeming an otherwise obvious cover, and James adds banjo to “Love You To,” drenching it in mountain psychedelica that predicts the rise of Fleet Foxes. The casualness of the performances suggests an attempt to capture the spirit of grief and gratitude while it was still fresh. Tribute To may be minor in James’ catalog, but it proves surprisingly moving in its off-the-cuff run-throughs.

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