My Morning Jacket

Chocolate & Ice

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The proliferation of My Morning Jacket releases continues unabated with Chocolate and Ice, a 40-minute EP that further refines and expands the scope of Jimi James' increasingly singular musical identity. Although "Such Protection From My Bed" and "Sooner" are vintage MMJ (i.e., ghostlike rural psychedelia), "Cobra" is a 24-minute exploration as serpentine as its title, beginning with an oddly funky drum-machine rhythm before mutating into a lumbering, bluesy jam that itself transforms to become an epic drone soundscape. "It's Been a Great 3 or 4 Years" is no less jarring, a seemingly interminable answering machine message purportedly left by James' cousin -- pure filler. But "Holy" and "Sweetheart" more than make up for it, in particular the string-sweetened former; say what you like about James, but he's never predictable.

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