This Kentucky quintet used to excel in semi-acoustic, dreamy reveries with an almost nursery rhyme simplicity. However, as bands such as Fleet Foxes have emerged doing a not-altogether different thing, MMJ's fifth album shifts tack to soft rock. They're not the first current band to find new value in the big sounds and large lapels of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, but appear to be doing so without irony and something approaching childlike zeal. For anyone who was around in the 1970s, the instantly anthemic I'm Amazed and Thank You Too! will cause lumpy-throated reminiscences of denim jackets with patches on. Curveballs such as the Prince-like title track and electro-funk Highly Suspicious play havoc with the flow, but exquisitely crafted songs like Sec Walking and The Librarian may have the most hardened spiky-top pondering what life would be like now had punk never happened.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author