My Morning Jacket’s Jim James Gets Seriously Political in New Song

Posted October 13, 2016 by J Matthew Cobb in News

My Morning Jacket frontman releases poignant message song on Black Lives Matter, race and 2016 presidential election

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James isn’t a total stranger to the idea of writing about social justice, especially as a solo artist (see Regions of Light and Sound of God). But “Same Old Lie” may be his boldest creation yet.

On his newest song, just released digitally and for streaming purposes, and set to be included on his forthcoming solo album Eternally Even, James jumps into the political conversation with four mind-blowing verses, as he rips the cover off of religion, race relations and Donald Trump’s biggest followers. It showcases a great depth of Dylanesque swagger, especially as he addresses the propaganda machine of the alt-right: “It’s the same old lie you been readin’ ’bout/Bleedin’ out, now who’s getting cheated out?/You best believe it’s the silent majority/If you don’t vote it’s on you not me.”

The second verse is simply bad-ass:
It’s the same old lie, you gotta live with it
Or if you got sense then you better try changing it
But nothing is more difficult than changing what’s been comfortable
We’ve seen it tried a million times
It’s hard to think when hypnotized
A lie’s a lie, it destroys from the inside
Decays the teeth from behind that false smile
A lie’s a lie and I’ve told my share
But I know I’m gonna suffer for the shit I put out there
As the psychedelic alt-rock song starts to wrap up, James tosses in a message of hope reflecting the harmonic vision of a Dr. King’s paradise. “They say we can’t live together but we know that’s a lie/’Cause we know it in our heart we can make it if we try.”

As expected, James is being met with some backlash on social media, with some wishing he would leave controversial subjects alone and others threatening to throw out his records. “Wow dude, you lost me as a fan. but I’m sure you don’t care. I just threw your CD out the window,” wrote Robert Castillo.

And we’re pretty sure with James coming out in full support for Black Lives Matter, that may have scorned a few of his closest Middle America followers. Remember, My Morning Jacket hails from Kentucky, a conservative alt-right-leaning state that gave birth to the rise of anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis and Tea Party-bolstered state governor Matt Bevin.

In a recent Facebook post for the song’s newly-released concept video, James added more fuel to his poetic fire: “The fact that the United States is even remotely considering the idea of a Donald Trump presidency is so very, very disturbing. How has this bully who capitalizes on the destruction of humanity somehow been given a free pass!? We need to be working for peace, love, and equality,” the singer/songwriter wrote.

Jim, we’re so glad you’re standing on the right side of history.

Eternally Even, released on ATO Records, hits stores on November 4, only days away from Election day.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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