Boomkat Product Review:
This supergroup ensemble features Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James and M. Ward, resulting in a predictably accomplished, yet inevitably inconsistent romp through various districts of Americana. It begins with something of a wrong-footer - in the best possible sense - sampling a great vintage funk backbeat and teaming it with some well-placed harp and a soulful lead vocal for the reclined, yet purposeful 'Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)'. As the piece dissolves into elegiac arcs of reverb towards the end (sounding a little like Radiohead's 'Nude') you might feel this album is set on a different course from the one you initially imagined, but for better or worse, that's not really the case and much of the record finds our notable alt. country protagonists doing what comes naturally, racking up goodtime rockers like 'Say Please', 'Baby Boomer' and 'Goodway', with a fluency and authenticity few could muster - in this respect, 'Whole Lotta Losin' is especially welcoming with its bristling, fusion of rabble-rousing country twang and synthesizer. Offering a slightly more earnest, unashamedly emotive side to the band's output are Conor Oberst-fronted tracks like 'Ahead Of The Curve', 'Temazcal' and the zeitgeisty, politically-geared 'Man Named Truth'. There's much to applaud here, and although as an album this is neither as coherent nor as consistent as the best works from any of the parties involved, there's still plenty to recommend it.