Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: All Things Must Pass, Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll), Behind the locked door, George Harrison, Jim James, Long Long Long, Love You To, My Morning Jacket, my sweet lord, Release of the Week, Revolver, The Beatles, The White Album, Tribute To, Woodstock, Yellow Submarine, Yim Yames
PREVIEW: Download Yim Yames’ “My Sweet Lord”MP3
WE GIVE IT: 15/20 Watts
It has been eight years since the passing of the most underappreciated, yet arguably the most talented of The Beatles, George Harrison. Fortunately this week the public will be graced with an appropriate tribute to an artist who managed to transcend every socially controversial gap imaginable with his music.
Prepare to discard the nightmares of your drunken uncles singing karaoke renditions of “Yellow Submarine” during the family reunions and praise the music gods for sending you Yim Yames (a.k.a. Jim James of My Morning Jacket).
Yames will finally be releasing the long-awaited EP Tribute To, a set of six Harrison covers, on August 4. The tracks were recorded immediately following Harrison’s passing, yet were kept below the public’s radar until now. A simple tribute from an adoring fan, the collection is quite touching, and shows clear devotion to Harrison’s work.
Borrowing from Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Tribute To uses tracks “Behind That Locked Door,” “My Sweet Lord,” “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)” and “All Things Must Pass.” James also taps into classic Beatles goodness using “Long Long Long” from The White Album and “Love You To” from Revolver.
Overall the EP takes a mellower approach to Harrison’s material. In many respects it is a fitting direction, helping the listeners appreciate the genius of Harrison’s work. Many characterize the former Beatle’s work as spiritual and deeply moving, and this cover stays true to that.
It opens with the track “Long Long Long.” In comparison to the original, the sound — especially the guitar — is far sharper and the vocals are much stronger. Yet, it still retains that eerie mood that marks Harrison’s work. It manages to be solemn without sounding depressing; an important asset of this album considering the extent to which James invests himself in Harrison’s legacy.
However, the best cover on the EP would have to be “My Sweet Lord.” James clearly takes the most creative freedom with this track. While Harrison’s ode to the Hindu God, Krishna, was far more fast-paced and almost bubbly, James’s version explores it in a more sorrowful, melancholy tone.
Though Tribute To is quite short, it performs its basic task. It pays respects to an incredible musician, not in mournful regret, but in valiant, honest eulogy. It does George Harrison’s legacy justice and reminds you why the world fell in love with four guys from Liverpool with funny haircuts.
You can download a digital copy now available at yimyames.com, but the EP is to be officially released on August 4th. Part of the proceeds will go to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary (www.woodstockfas.org).
— Irina Dvalidze