My Morning Jacket singer Jim James reinvented the Beach Boys‘ Pet Sounds ballad “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” as a psych-soul slow jam. It’s the first sample of his upcoming covers LP, Tribute to 2.
James utilizes the groove from Isaac Hayes’ 1969 version of Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” crooning over through a wall of reverb. In its first half, the track maintains a low-key atmosphere similar to James’ most recent solo LP, last year’s Eternally Even. But the arrangement blooms midway into a joyous, double-time parade of brass, piano and electric guitar.
The singer-songwriter praised the Beach Boys’ original 1966 track in a statement, writing that the song “has spoken to [him] very deeply from the first time [he] heard it.”
“So often, many of us just feel like we don’t fit in, like somehow we were dropped into the wrong life at the wrong time,” he said. “This song has such a beautiful way of resonating with that energy and relating to the pain of life on earth, but also offering hope and comfort in the beautiful sounds of togetherness.”
James added that he created the cover after he “ripped apart ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ and put it back together again as ‘I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times'” while listening to the master tapes of Hayes’ second LP, Hot Buttered Soul.
Tribute To 2 – in name, at least – is a sequel to James’ 2009 EP of George Harrison covers, Tribute To. On the new 11-track LP, he also reimagines material from Elvis Presley (“Crying in the Chapel”), Bob Dylan (“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”), Willie Nelson (“Funny How Time Slips Away”), Sonny & Cher (“Baby Don’t Go”) and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (“Lucky Man”), among others.
James will also reissue Tribute To on December 8th with a new cover image and a bonus cover version of Bob Dylan’s “If Not For You.”
Tribute To 2 is currently available for pre-order on CD, download, vinyl and as a limited-edition deluxe bundle set featuring Tribute To and Tribute To 2 on either CD or vinyl along with an autographed 16″x 20″ poster.
Tribute To 2 Track List
1. “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (The Beach Boys)
2. “Baby Don’t Go” (Sonny & Cher)
3. “Wild Honey” (Dianne Izzo)
4. “Midnight, the Stars and You” (Ray Noble & al Bowlly)
5. “Crying in the Chapel” (Elvis Presley)
6. “Funny How Time Slips Away” (Willie Nelson)
7. “Love Is The Sweetest Thing” (Ray Noble & Al Bowlly)
8. “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” (Bob Dylan)
9. “Lucky Man” (Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
10. “The World is Falling Down” (Abbey Lincoln)
11. “Blue Skies” (Irving Berlin)