"I want a new life," sings Jim James on the fourth track of February's Regions of Light and Sound of God. To a certain extent, he already has it. After six albums as the frontman of Louisville sluggers My Morning Jacket, James is on his first solo outing, a celestial 38-minute sigh with a fitting attention to spirituality. Though fuzzed-up guitars sear to the surface on "Dear One" and "Actress," it doesn't have a single track like "One Big Holiday," the immortal 2003 MMJ jam with six-string heroics damn near everywhere. Instead, the music on Regions is quieter than (and just as adventurous as) that of any MMJ record, with tumbling piano, vaguely funky bass, and cruising sax all in tow. There's also an especially bright spotlight on James's hickory tenor, a voice that here occasionally evokes John Lennon's. Above all, the thing is just a gorgeous record, and James, its producer, should have no trouble translating its sheen live. With Cold Specks. 18+.
Sun., April 21, 7:30 p.m., 2013
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