• Record Label: ATO
  • Release Date: May 31, 2011
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
Buy On
  1. May 27, 2011
    88
    Carry on, ye bearded gods.
  2. Jun 6, 2011
    84
    After the peaks and valleys reached with the past two records, however, Circuital serves as a reminder that My Morning Jacket is back at the top of its game with an album residing just a tiny notch below its definitive records.
  3. Jun 1, 2011
    83
    My Morning Jacket's new album, Circuital, does dial back the weirdness of 2008's Evil Urges.
  4. 83
    Focus on Circuital's sounds, not its content.
  5. Much closer to Z than Evil Urges, My Morning Jacket proves that a leap back can sometimes be a step in the right direction, even if we end up "right back in the same place that we started out."
  6. 80
    Allowing their music to be filled with the goodness they inevitably churn out, My Morning Jacket has embraced the electrical currents that connect their music.
  7. Mojo
    Jun 21, 2011
    80
    Circuital sees them negotiating their place in the world with heartening vigour. [July 2011, p. 103]
  8. Jun 13, 2011
    80
    My Morning Jacket are clearly having fun, and they're learning how to be "out there" without being outlandish.
  9. Jun 6, 2011
    80
    My Morning Jacket should be celebrated as a band that tirelessly deliver value for money--there's enough in here to keep you listening for months on end, and loving every minute of it.
  10. 80
    Circuital opens with a gong and orchestral fanfare, appropriately so for what may be My Morning Jacket's best album.
  11. Uncut
    Jun 3, 2011
    80
    Despite several terrific individual tracks, this record ultimately derives its considerable strength from a renewed appreciation of the power of collective identity. [Jul 2011, p.90]
  12. Jun 2, 2011
    80
    Their sixth album finds them back on track. Circuital combines their experience with a rediscovered youthful zest, a theme Jim James visits in the lyrics.
  13. Jun 1, 2011
    80
    After the divisively funky Evil Urges and Z before it (which quizzically drew comparisons to Radiohead, of all bands), Circuital feels somehow both grounded in the soil that spawned it and operatic in scope.
  14. 80
    It's an album containing 10 diverse songs--all performed with near immaculate precision--that reward with repeat visits.
  15. 80
    Circuital sounds like a reaction to the extravagances of its predecessor. My Morning Jacket tamper their more evil urges and settle back into being a solid rock band.
  16. May 27, 2011
    80
    A sixth album of exuberant, glammy pop and driving Southern-fried rock.
  17. May 26, 2011
    80
    Recorded in a Louisville church gymnasium, Circuital is just as adventurous, yet more organic and focused.
  18. May 16, 2011
    80
    Long stretches of Circuital could even pass for an alternate version of Quadrophenia, albeit one heard as a distant echo with the volume turned down to deathly quiet. James sounds remarkably like Roger Daltrey at 
times, singing with an appealing, yearning catch in his voice.
  19. Jun 9, 2011
    78
    Ultimately, Circuital charts My Morning Jacket's return home with success now firmly under their belts, proving they've lost none of their Southern-jammed charm while perched atop the second act of an already sky-high career.
  20. Jun 1, 2011
    76
    James' lyrics, forever a sticky mixture of high-minded spirituality and cultural slang, keep up the theme; nearly each of Circuital's 10 songs is concerned with the relationship between the past and the present, the development of the individual character, and the quest for something beyond human.
  21. 75
    There are moments when the bear-voiced Jim James and company sound as if they're scraping an old dinner plate for a last lick, retreading what they've done better elsewhere, but then they strike on something inspired enough to renew their license to rock-trot all over the globe.
  22. May 31, 2011
    72
    Like nearly all of their studio albums, Circuital may not reach the heights of the band's live show -- a good MMJ concert can recalibrate your gut, it can change you -- but it's a remarkably solid step for a band that's never stopped evolving.
  23. Jun 6, 2011
    71
    It's a solid, un-embarrassing, simple-minded record that will do nothing to My Morning Jacket's reputation as one of the greatest American rock bands every American can, and will, get behind. Here's to riskier futures.
  24. A similar slide into the mainstream for Jim James and co certainly wouldn't be out of the question – not least because Circuital, despite stiff competition, is possibly their most impressive work to date.
  25. May 31, 2011
    70
    Musically, the album really is right in line with how they've been evolving over the years.
  26. May 31, 2011
    70
    Circuital contains some of the best material this band has produced in the last six years.
  27. May 31, 2011
    70
    Perhaps it's because the Kentucky rockers went home to record, or because they recorded live as a band; but whatever the reason, the result is eminently listenable.
  28. May 24, 2011
    70
    Circuital is probably a necessary step after that strange thrust into foreign territory, a regrouping effort that serves as a reminder of My Morning Jacket's ever-present strengths.
  29. May 27, 2011
    63
    Though My Morning Jacket has been one of the most consistently brilliant live bands of the last decade, its studio albums remain hit-and-miss. Circuital is no exception.
  30. Dec 14, 2011
    60
    My Morning Jacket no longer sound like a band of curious adventurers perpetually at odds with their former selves, and consequently deliver an album that plays like a sort of kid-in-a-candy-shop, take-a-little-of-everything thrill ride. Predictably, results vary.
  31. Q Magazine
    Jun 8, 2011
    60
    Ultimately, My Morning Jacket's diversity proves their partial undoing and Circuital remains a frustratingly hit-and-miss affair. [July 2011, p. 112]
  32. Jun 1, 2011
    60
    Circuital can't be marked down as a failure; it's just not as good as it could be, or as its best tracks suggest it might have been. A little run of the mill for a band that often hit such massive heights.
  33. May 27, 2011
    60
    Though this outing focuses more on the smooth, laid-back side of their sound, Circuital is still the work of a band that refuses to stand still.
  34. May 26, 2011
    50
    A distinct spirit? Always. Forging new ground? Only in the minds of marketing execs.
  35. The sixth album by these Kentucky alt-country types sees them risk destroying forever the aura of existential gravitas they've accrued with the previous five.
  36. Jun 2, 2011
    30
    Circuital makes it clear that we are dealing with My Morning Jacket post-metamorphosis. From a provocative indie/country/blues band with exceptional vocals, witty lyrics, and a stellar band, MMJ has found prime real estate on the premise of becoming a commercial parody of themselves.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. Jun 6, 2011
    10
    Amazing! Their greatest effort since the majestic "At Dawn". Victory Dance is one of the most exciting, moving intros to an album I've everAmazing! Their greatest effort since the majestic "At Dawn". Victory Dance is one of the most exciting, moving intros to an album I've ever heard. Circuital and Outta My System are my other two favorites. Turn the lights low, put the head phones on and go for a wonderful 45 min. journey. Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2011
    9
    To my ears, this sounds more like the proper follow up to "Z" after the detour of Evil Urges. For all the varieties of sounds and styles, itTo my ears, this sounds more like the proper follow up to "Z" after the detour of Evil Urges. For all the varieties of sounds and styles, it certainly makes for a more cohesive listen than the previous release. Full Review »
  3. May 31, 2011
    9
    As a listener who straddles the fence between casual listener and MMJ fanatic I was genuinely impressed by this album. I was able to sitAs a listener who straddles the fence between casual listener and MMJ fanatic I was genuinely impressed by this album. I was able to sit through the entire album without skipping any tracks, something rare these days, in my opinion. It created the same magic It Still Moves, Z, and Evil Urges did for me. Outta My System, Victory Dance, and Holdin' On To Black Metal are great songs for anyone new to My Morning Jacket and existing fans. This album is definitely worth checking out. Full Review »