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Album Review

Yim Yames, 'Tribute To'

August 17, 2009

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Rock
Yim Yames Tribute To
ATO
ESSENTIAL “Behind That Locked Door’’

My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James doesn’t do much to disguise his identity, literally or figuratively, on this spectral and occasionally snoozy six-song tribute to George Harrison. Recorded shortly after Harrison’s death in 2001, “Tribute To’’ captures James’s sense of admiration, anguish, and awe for the quiet Beatle in an intimate solo recording that is three parts haunting reverb and one part pop melancholy. While Harrison’s basic song structures remain intact, the misty, down-home vibe is charmingly more Louisville than Liverpool. Whether James is harmonizing delicately with himself, as he does on the dilapidated country amble “Behind That Locked Door’’ or simply paying straightforward homage as on “My Sweet Lord,’’ My Morning Jacket fans will recognize their leader and Harrison fans will recognize the songs. A few of these covers induce shivers as if James’s haunting warble was coming from inside your head, while others feel more like lullabies. Given the quiet specificity of the project, “Tribute To’’ would probably make a good late-night soundtrack for indie-rock fans and Beatlemaniacs alike. (Out now) SARAH RODMAN