Bring your headphones and get ready to rock for the band's show at the Peabody on August 8.
10. "Librarian" ("Evil Urges," 2008) – A beautiful song. "Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me." Oh, and James uses the term "interweb" in a song. How could this not be on the list?
9. "Xmas Curtain" ("At Dawn," 2001) – I certainly don't think of this when December 25 rolls around, but it's a beautiful and haunting song. Great for the other 364 days each year.
8. "Lowdown" ("At Dawn," 2001) – It's difficult for me to make a top 10 MMJ songs without including several from this album. A great song about convincing her that you won't hurt her like she's been hurt in her past relationships. "So, love dawg, can't you see? That you only have to dance with me …"
7. "Dancefloors" ("It Still Moves," 2003) – A road song. But what makes this song wonderful is the mix of styles. From the honky-tonk piano to the '70s/'80s southern-rock sound to the slow bass line into the horns. This song has more lives than a litter of kittens.
6. "Gideon" ("Z," 2005) - "Truly, truly we have become / Hated and feared for something that we don't want / Listen, listen. Most of us believe that this is wrong." I have to believe this song refers in some way to the Iraq War and James' stand against it. Regardless, a great song.
5. "Anytime" ("Z," 2005) – The best warm night open your windows driving 75 down a dark highway song in their canon. I can't help but sing, scream, howl the lyrics to this song. Damn.
4. "Circuital" ("Circuital," 2011) – The title track to My Morning Jacket's most recent album displays everything about the band that I love. A song about the circuital meaning of life, that no matter what you do, you'll end up back to where you're going to be, in a circuit. But more importantly a great tune that opens slowly and builds into a great rock song.
3. "Phone Went West" ("At Dawn," 2001) – A seven minute song with about two stanzas, this song still gives me the chills. "Is there still a lock on your front door? Is there still a lock on your back door?" Later, "there will be a lock on your front door." My interpretation of the song is that the narrator is considering trying to get back with his ex but isn't sure if it's the right thing to do. He isn't sure if his unresolved feelings are his and his alone -- but resolution is never found.
2. "Mahgeetah" ("It Still Moves," 2003) – Quite possibly the first My Morning Jacket studio-recorded song that captures the energy of their live show. And while no one would mistake this song as anything other than a rock song, country influences can be heard throughout much of the song. And it's about the love he has for his guitar … Mahgeetah.
1. "Lay Low" ("Z," 2005) – One of those songs that crept up on me. I didn't particularly love this song at first. I thought it was too long, maybe a little over the top. But I gave it some additional listens … and more listens … and saw it live … and saw it live again. What a song! It builds and builds until the last three and a half minutes cement Jim James status as an official rock god. But don't think it's simply a rock song. The piano fills during the song are gorgeous.