User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 68
  2. Negative: 6 out of 68

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  1. WarrenX
    Jun 13, 2008
    4
    It's tough to rate a new release of a band when the overarching sound and feel of it is akin to a full-musical makeover or reinvention. Given, I've only intentionally listened to the album once, but if I were to unintentionally listen to any of the songs on the radio, I'd be hard-pressed to recognize the band as My Morning Jacket. Jim James sounds like he's been 50% It's tough to rate a new release of a band when the overarching sound and feel of it is akin to a full-musical makeover or reinvention. Given, I've only intentionally listened to the album once, but if I were to unintentionally listen to any of the songs on the radio, I'd be hard-pressed to recognize the band as My Morning Jacket. Jim James sounds like he's been 50% emasculated - his voice is simply not as powerful and his vocals don't come off with the gravel 'n' syrup sound from previous albums. Likewise, the guitars and percussion sound like they're trying to emulate age-old songs by T. Rex or glam-era Bowie at times. In short, if I had never heard My Morning Jacket before, I might think this album is "neat" or even teetering on good. However, I've admired the band for quite a few years, and although I don't expect MMJ to continually pump out the same music, I'm not ready for a complete raze and rebuild process either. An analogy here of pre/post U2 "Achtung Baby" might be apt - U2 lost a ton of fans with that album and thereafter, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that U2 can still produce decent songs from time to time. If MMJ doesn't return to form on the album following "Evil Urges", then I suppose that's the best I can hope for them as well. Expand
  2. TomH
    Jun 11, 2008
    5
    Doesn't concentrate on MMJ's (former) high points. Oddly enough reminds me of contemporary late 70's early 80's - which I guess if you're into is a positive, but I personally long for the MMJ I first fell in love with on the previous 4 albums. And the album leaves little mystery to want to relive later. A turn in a different direction, but in this reader's Doesn't concentrate on MMJ's (former) high points. Oddly enough reminds me of contemporary late 70's early 80's - which I guess if you're into is a positive, but I personally long for the MMJ I first fell in love with on the previous 4 albums. And the album leaves little mystery to want to relive later. A turn in a different direction, but in this reader's opinion, the wrong one. Expand
  3. Jim
    Jun 13, 2008
    4
    Subpar work compared to earlier works.
  4. JackC.
    Jun 21, 2008
    6
    As a big MMJ fan, I think this is a decent album. Still, I think it's a really frustrating one. It's a bit of head-scratcher, but not necessarily in the way the band intended. Yes, the first three songs are different and kind of weird, but after that, it's pretty much the most straightforward stuff they've ever done- it's not some big risky album like people keep As a big MMJ fan, I think this is a decent album. Still, I think it's a really frustrating one. It's a bit of head-scratcher, but not necessarily in the way the band intended. Yes, the first three songs are different and kind of weird, but after that, it's pretty much the most straightforward stuff they've ever done- it's not some big risky album like people keep saying. It's all totally listenable, but surprisingly boring. "Two Halves" sounds like the work of a band that has been washed up for years now. "Thank You, Too," is really a pretty good song, but talk about some cheese. "Look At You" is just boring, don't know how or why it made the cut. The two main rockers- "Aluminum Park" and "Remnants" are all right I guess, but don't even come close to their previous great rockers like "One Big Holiday," "Lay Low," and several others. They're a great live band, but it's hard to imagine them truly feeling this stuff measures up to their previous material when they play a show- go from a timeless tune like "The Way That He Sings" to a forgettable, pretty lameone like "Two Halves"? But, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say this is awful. It's not. The title track is good, as is "I'm Amazed," the last two tracks are also pretty great. "Highly Suspicious" is a horrible song, but it doesn't bother me, because they've always had a bizarre sense of humor that lurks underneath their music. The rest of the album is okay, but frustrating, not because it's so "challenging" or "brave," but because it's pretty boring and faceless. Expand
  5. ErikH
    Jun 11, 2008
    6
    It's easily the worst My Morning Jacket studio album to date, although "Evil Urges" and "I'm Amazed" are both great songs.
  6. EffEll
    Jun 11, 2008
    5
    Two things bother me about this album : 1. It somehow sounds empty. The production just isn't right on most songs. I would like to hear the guitars and very often, there aren't any or they are hidden behind the synth; 2. I like the way that he sang. On this album, Jim James doesn't use his voice, which is (was?) by far MMJ's best instrument. I understand he wanted to Two things bother me about this album : 1. It somehow sounds empty. The production just isn't right on most songs. I would like to hear the guitars and very often, there aren't any or they are hidden behind the synth; 2. I like the way that he sang. On this album, Jim James doesn't use his voice, which is (was?) by far MMJ's best instrument. I understand he wanted to leave that whole reverb thing aside, but he needed not stop singing the way he used to. The melodies are nice most of the time, though (Smokin from Shootin is a standout, so is Touch me pt. 2.). Expand
  7. Scott
    Jun 12, 2008
    4
    A hugely disappointing release. MMJ's previous albums are superlative while this one falls flat on its face, although there are a few great tracks. However, they do not atone for the dreadfully awful "Highly Suspicious." One listen to the lyric, "Peanut butter pudding surprise," in the context of its throwback to the 80s (in a bad way) context made me consider taking the charmingly A hugely disappointing release. MMJ's previous albums are superlative while this one falls flat on its face, although there are a few great tracks. However, they do not atone for the dreadfully awful "Highly Suspicious." One listen to the lyric, "Peanut butter pudding surprise," in the context of its throwback to the 80s (in a bad way) context made me consider taking the charmingly packaged CD back for a refund. Expand
  8. deeznuts
    Jun 12, 2008
    4
    After their masterpiece Z, this is a huge disappointment. I listened to it a few times, and have no desire to listen to it again.
  9. RobbieC
    Jul 16, 2008
    6
    Ehhh, I don't know what happened. It's not BAD. It's just not as good as it should be. The past few albums were so solid. This is spotty.
  10. j30
    Dec 7, 2011
    5
    A very strange, uneven album from the boys down South (Louisville, Kentucky). When it works, it's some of the best stuff they've written up to this point. The album doesn't work when they try too hard to incorporate too many different genres (some of them sounding like garbage).
  11. May 7, 2015
    5
    Evil Urges is a major misfire and a hugely disappointing follow-up to the universally adored 'Z'. MMJ have taken some artistic risks with this album and unfortunately none of the experimentation works. "Highly Suspicious" sounds completely out of character and is poor homage to Prince. Overall the album is a patchy collection of their weakest songs shifting uneasily between differentEvil Urges is a major misfire and a hugely disappointing follow-up to the universally adored 'Z'. MMJ have taken some artistic risks with this album and unfortunately none of the experimentation works. "Highly Suspicious" sounds completely out of character and is poor homage to Prince. Overall the album is a patchy collection of their weakest songs shifting uneasily between different influences. Such a shame though, as a "Z' was clearly one of the finest albums of the 00's Expand
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. Where the separate parts of the first half didn't gel – the chopping and changing of different styles too much to take in, perhaps, in too short a period--the second part is much easier to handle, and whilst the strong finish isn't enough to stop it falling short of "Z," Evil Urges does find its own place given time.
  2. The cumulative result is an exhilarating, bone-deep experience--a true album, built for sustained listening.
  3. Evil Urges explodes the band's sound with the same kind of creative leap that Wilco took on "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and Radiohead took on "Kid A."