A shimmering curtain of Eno-incensed atmospherics, a muted kick drum, a dry guitar figure. Then Jim James, dressed in reverb, declares he is "going back to my childhood way." And so he does on a track that recalls 2001's At Dawn more than 2008's genre-hopping Evil Urges: Vigorous acoustic strumming teases an arena crescendo, drops out for a verse, then all the guitars kick in, classic MMJ with a dash of the Edge and a dollop of Neil Young. The title track of the forthcoming LP will be a live burner, no doubt. Here, it's a philosophical stalemate whose sonic bliss-out feels too short, even at seven-plus minutes. But it's still plenty blissful.
Listen to "Circuital":