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David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and more lead off a big spring music season

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 Jim James, 'Regions of Light and Sound of God' (February 5th)
Neil Krug7/12

Jim James, 'Regions of Light and Sound of God' (February 5th)

After falling offstage and injuring himself in 2008, Jim James had some rare free time at his home in Lousville, Kentucky – so he started recording some experimental music inspired by God's Man, a 1929 graphic novel by Lynd Ward. "I had this beautiful reawakening," says the My Morning Jacket frontman. "Stuff that happens in the book was happening to me, coincidentally, so it took on this heavy thing." The six-minute single "Know Til Now" evolves from percussive funk-pop into an instrumental jazz excursion, and James overdubs sweet electric guitar lines over acoustic fingerpicking on "Exploding." "I've been a fan of the less-is-more thing lately," he says. "I didn't want there to be any pressure other than me liking it."

James combined both analog and digital techniques, manipulating his string and vocal parts in Pro Tools. "That's the fucking cool thing about digital music," he says. "You can look at it as this new kind of jigsaw puzzle – reverse something and pull it into a million pieces and run it through reverb. It's like you can play with it visually."

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