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20 Watts Reviews Yim Yames’ Tribute To EP (Remembering George Harrison) by Irina Dvalidze
Yim Yames New Album: Tribute To

Yim Yames' new EP Tribute To

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

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6 Comments

Not the biggest My Morning Jacket fan, but Jim gets props from me for donating some of his proceeds to that animal sanctuary.

Comment by dankaplan1

George Harrison’s always been my favorite Beatle and this is a pretty cool concept, but I feel like it probably should been released seven years ago. I don’t think James broke any particularly new ground here.

Comment by vilbobag

i don’t know, i have no beef with the way he handled this, i don’t think James was trying to come up with something groundbreaking. I mean he is doing Beatles/Harrison covers after all. Frankly, if you listen to the album it’s obviously something very personal, not some experimental, money making gimmick like Scarlett Johansson’s Tom Waits covers (no offense to Scarlett)

Comment by irinadvalidze

I usually hate Beatles covers, so the fact that I didn’t mind this effort spoke some volumes. Plus, I’m not exactly a My Morning Jacket fan either, yet I’m able to look past it because of the real personal note Irina mentioned. Overall, I give James props for undertaking this.

Comment by johncassillo

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