Feature

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk

What started as a casual 2004 tour for My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, and folkster M. Ward has evolved into a supergroup.

(Shangri-La)

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Monsters of Folk is the “indie-rock answer to the Traveling Wilburys,” said Greg Kot in the Chicago Tribune. What started as a casual 2004 tour for My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis, and folkster M. Ward has evolved into a supergroup. The musicians gave themselves the moniker in jest, but it truly reflects the “casual affability” found throughout their self-titled debut. Despite being successful solo songwriters, “each with a distinctive voice and tone (James’ otherworldly swoon, Oberst’s quivering cry, Ward’s confiding rasp),” they keep their egos in check. Like the Wilburys, these boys sound like a bunch of “talented guys enjoying each other’s company and inviting listeners to join them,” said Noel Murray in The Onion. As they trade lines and guitar licks on the soulful prayer “Dear God” or the genuinely Wilburys-esque “Say Please,” you can sense their sincerity.­ It’s what makes this “loose, catchy, and­­ ­likable” collection a “real pleasure.”

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