A diverse range of musical styles helps the Kentucky rockers satisfy their evil urges - and they sure have fun doing it.
Opening an album singing about polygamy in falsetto is generally something only Prince could get away with. Yet here we have it, in the first chorus of the opening and title track, Evil Urges, vocalist Jim James proclaiming, “I made a nasty decision / To love whoever I want just-a whenever I can”. This opener sets the tone for what turns out to be a rip-roaring ride across genres and influences, through slow country on Sec Walking, to the downright bizarre, funky and extremely catchy Highly Suspicious. This makes Evil Urges one of the most original rock albums of 2008, an album where you can hear duelling guitar solos, country slides, fun pop riffs on I’m Amazed and Two Halves and then slow melody on Librarian, a song about, well, a sexy librarian, but this shows a more romantic side, not the lustfulness of the opening track - “So I watch you through the bookcase imaging a scene / You and I at dinner, spending time, then to sleep”.
You simply don’t know what’s around the corner on Evil Urges; this is an album that brims with confidence and shows a band that’s willing to not only stray from the norm, but twist the norm entirely. We end with Good Intentions, six quick seconds of tinny screaming followed by James simply saying, ‘Ok, cool’. This is open to interpretation, from how many good intentions the singer has, to a representation of sex itself, but one thing’s for sure, like the album, it’s the Evil Urges that win in the end.