Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Feb 4, 2013
    70
    Regions of Light and Sound of God is intriguing and quirky; its songs often pose big questions inside informal, loosely developed pop song structures that are instantly accessible yet whose lyrics are often metaphysically elusive.
  2. Feb 14, 2013
    60
    Its vision, however good-intentioned, is a bit overambitious, while its execution and production are a bit undercooked.
  3. Feb 4, 2013
    78
    While addressing the same themes he's been tweaking for more than a decade now, James adds a new trick to his ever-expanding repertoire: transforming the boundless possibilities of solo creativity into a cohesive one-man show.
  4. Feb 8, 2013
    40
    Pomposity reigns and the songs are too one-paced to ignore it. [Mar 2013, p.104]
  5. Feb 4, 2013
    80
    The result is a lovingly recorded scrap of splendour and beauty that takes some of the more interesting elements of MMJ and runs with them in a series of unexpected directions. [Mar 2013, p.71]
  6. Feb 6, 2013
    80
    This is mature, tuneful and utterly approachable album. [Mar 2013, p.87]
  7. Feb 5, 2013
    70
    Regions of Light and Sound of God is all heated feelings and extravagant gestures. It is also what solo albums are for: the leader of a great band out on a limb, in rapt self-examination, getting weird and interesting.
  8. Fans alienated by My Morning Jacket’s more recent material will find plenty of comfort here.
  9. Feb 5, 2013
    58
    Pleasant but at times bland or monotonous, the record touches on wholesome ’50s rock, hollow soul, skittering jazz, and pastoral folk.
  10. Jan 28, 2013
    70
    Regions of Light and Sound of God is a laid-back affair, hardly the max-effort of some Jacket jams, and one can feel James really enjoying himself. [Jan-Feb 2013, p.87]
  11. Feb 13, 2013
    70
    the monster of folk's slow-jamming, white-suited funk would seem fresher and riskier (at least in this godless era) if Matthew E. White, another Southerner with that old-time religion/romance on his mind, hadn't carved out similar turf on last year's equally ambitious and somewhat superior Big Inner.
  12. Jan 31, 2013
    70
    Overall, Regions Of Light And Sound Of God is a good rather than great album, lacking some of the spine-tingling dynamics of My Morning Jacket but delivering a consistent vision than many of their efforts.
  13. 67
    As easy listening goes, it's dreamy--so dreamy you might have trouble staying awake. [15 Feb 2013, p.66]
  14. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    Thrillingly adventurous and tuneful, if occasionally indulgent. [Mar 2013, p.90]
  15. Feb 25, 2013
    70
    James seems to be in a good place, and thankfully for us, he’s managed to capture and translate it quite well into his music.
  16. Feb 5, 2013
    83
    It’s a bold direction that’s not always easy to pursue successfully in the world of music, but Jim James is sure off to a good start.
  17. 80
    Ultimately, Regions wins by turning broad, universal questions into James’ own personal conquests. Over the course of nine songs, James crafts an album that’s equal parts weighed down by loneliness and lifted up with hope, sometimes distant and other times fully engaged.
  18. Feb 1, 2013
    70
    There's a certain variety to the approach here, but it coheres for the most part on James's insistently tuneful interrogation of himself. He remains a smart commentator on the voyeuristic elements of attraction.
  19. Jan 28, 2013
    80
    It's a soulful, self-contained delight.
  20. Feb 25, 2013
    86
    Captivating to its core, it will undoubtedly soundtrack countless mushroom-fueled spirit quests and soul-searching walkabouts for light years to come.
  21. Feb 19, 2013
    80
    Overall, this album was a just-in-time surprise: a musical excursion of folk, soul, rock, and soul-baring honesty--fun to listen to, no matter where or how it is heard.
  22. Mar 13, 2013
    67
    The underlying want and yearning pulls the songs most effectively.
  23. Jul 3, 2013
    60
    The set eschews songs in any traditional sense, opting instead for murky soundscapes characterized by minimal piano and acoustic guitar, suspended strings and a dense overlay of synths and drums.
  24. 80
    The album features slow-burning grooves that build steadily from modestly minimal to euphorically exultant.
  25. 75
    Regions of Light and Sound of God is as succinct as he’s ever been on record, and while it doesn’t exactly live up to its grandiose title, it’s a fascinating musical backroad to find yourself stranded in.
  26. 80
    Light but deep, it [Of The Mother Again] helps this shimmering solo effort knock the last three MMJ albums into a cocked hat.
  27. 80
    Regions Of Light is about surrendering yourself to the wonder of the unknown: Often on this adventurous and deeply heartfelt album, it’s unclear whether James is singing to a lover or to God, and that seems to be the point.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Feb 10, 2013
    8
    The minimalism of this album mostly works than it doesn't. Jim James is truly inspired to write songs about his spiritual state of being as he grows as a singer/songwriter. I took the tribute to George Harrison that he did in 2009 under the acronym of "Yim Yames" and copied it onto a copy of this album, and now I've got an hour's worth of really inspiring and good music. ...and of course, James' voice only helps these songs. Full Review »
  2. Jun 1, 2013
    8
    Jim James has enjoyed much success fronting ‘My Morning Jacket’ and rightly so but it’s here on his debut solo record ‘Regions Of Light And Sound of God’ that his talents truly shine. Written, produced and almost entirely performed by James this really is an exceptional record. I must admit the album didn’t grab me on first listen but after a few turns it really opened itself to me in all its beauty. I think the main thing is that it’s hard to categorise, there is just so much going on, but not in a muddled way, everything works in perfect harmony. Which means Americana nestles up to funk and synths share space with mariachi folk, it’s a blending of styles that in the wrong hands could have been disastrous but here is quite the opposite. ‘Know Til Now’ sounds like Hot Chip in one of their more mellower moments, whereas ‘Actress’ could have come straight off a ‘John Lennon and Plastic Ono Band’ record. Layers of strings and trumpets wash certain tracks and space plays a big part like the instrumental ‘Exploding’ that cuts the album in half. I’d like to say that the nine compositions contain experimentation because that’s how it feels at times but I’m sure that everything is calculated down to the last note. With the exception of say Matthew E White no one is making music like this, making music that lasts, investing time and talent into something that will be listened to for a long time to come. Get this record, play this record and let it show you its complex magnificence. Full Review »
  3. Mar 21, 2013
    9
    An album composed to be so simple has never delivered such volume and grace with it's material. Jame's vocals are not set out to dominate the sound but are rather 'just there'. State of technology is a stand out for me. It's cool jazz like piano loop as well as slow building progression mean this song can be enjoyed and loved time over. Can't doubt that this may be a future LSD party favorite but I admire it fully in it's own right and feel Jame's will progress onwards from his already great work with MMJ Full Review »