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My Morning Jacket — The Way That He Sings (Live)
Album: Okonokos
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1406









Released: 2006
Length: 5:01
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Why's it so strange when they say that the world's movin' upwards?
Why's it surreal when my hands feel they can't roll the dice?
Why's it so great just to wake every day alive and by your side?

It's a mystery, I guess
There's lots of things that I can't find
Not the way that you look
But your move that catches my eye

Why's it so soft when the cannons unload on the others?
Why are we so loud when we say it won't happen to us?
Why does my mind blow to bits every time they play that song?

It's just the way that he sings
Not the words that he says or the band
I'm in love with this soul
It's a meaning that I understand
Comments (134)add comment
 Solanus wrote:
I have to disagree with this. Some people approach music in a way that is probably completely different than how you do so. Some people are tone deaf and focus on the beat. Some people are more interested in the musicianship and could care less about the vocals altogether. Some people are non-English speakers and have no idea what the vocalist is singing (or English-speakers who actually appreciate non-English songs). Some people obsess over the lead singer being off-key, something that the rest of us pay little heed to.

And there are others, like myself, that have a tendency to focus on the vocals, but glaze over the lyrics. It's not that I don't care about them or that I don't understand them, or that I am too stupid (no pissing contest here, but I'm significantly smarter than a f*cking garden rake). Even singing with the song, sometimes I find myself parroting the lyrics, much like a scribe would just draw the symbols on the page. I like the feel of a song, the tone & intricacy of the vocals, and the way it touches me emotionally, viscerally; sometimes I'm lucky enough to connect with the actual lyrics & maybe the meaning behind them.

Years ago, I went to a full-band open mic night and a group of young adults were playing some sort of thrash metal. It was not my sort of thing, but the other "kids" in the audience were into it. The frontman was grunting into the microphone, but he's also reading lyrics off a notebook in his hand. It blew my mind; maybe I wasn't hearing it right, maybe I wasn't used to that style of singing, maybe I didn't need to understand it, but just feel it, "be" it.

Sure, Eddie Vedder needs to enunciate more often, but just because someone else doesn't appreciate music the same way you do does not make them stupid. Don't go there.
 
Hey Solanus, thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful reply.
My comment was definitely a knee-jerk reaction to what I felt was a complete dismissal of a huge part of great popular music; the lyrics. Partly because I grew up in the era of the "singer/songwriter"; Dylan, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, John Prine, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, et al, I came to appreciate great lyrics. So for someone to essentially say "Lyrics don't count for sh*t", was bound to elicit a response from me. However, your reply made some excellent points and made me re-think my position. 
Oh, and please disregard the "garden rake" comment; no offense intended!  ; ) It was definitely a "heat of the moment" aside.
Cheers, Solanus!  
 Solanus wrote:



I have to disagree with this. Some people approach music in a way that is probably completely different than how you do so. Some people are tone deaf and focus on the beat. Some people are more interested in the musicianship and could care less about the vocals altogether. Some people are non-English speakers and have no idea what the vocalist is singing (or English-speakers who actually appreciate non-English songs). Some people obsess over the lead singer being off-key, something that the rest of us pay little heed to.

And there are others, like myself, that have a tendency to focus on the vocals, but glaze over the lyrics. It's not that I don't care about them or that I don't understand them, or that I am too stupid (no pissing contest here, but I'm significantly smarter than a f*cking garden rake). Even singing with the song, sometimes I find myself parroting the lyrics, much like a scribe would just draw the symbols on the page. I like the feel of a song, the tone & intricacy of the vocals, and the way it touches me emotionally, viscerally; sometimes I'm lucky enough to connect with the actual lyrics & maybe the meaning behind them.

Years ago, I went to a full-band open mic night and a group of young adults were playing some sort of thrash metal. It was not my sort of thing, but the other "kids" in the audience were into it. The frontman was grunting into the microphone, but he's also reading lyrics off a notebook in his hand. It blew my mind; maybe I wasn't hearing it right, maybe I wasn't used to that style of singing, maybe I didn't need to understand it, but just feel it, "be" it.

Sure, Eddie Vedder needs to enunciate more often, but just because someone else doesn't appreciate music the same way you do does not make them stupid. Don't go there.

A most useful analysis 
 TJOpootertoot wrote:
This is my upload and I always get a little lift from hearing it!

Hearing the album version in heavy rotation here got me into MMJ and then I got this album and thought it would be good to have this (obviously similar, but a bit more oomph to it) in the rotation too. So, all-around pleased to have it pumped into my ears this morning.
 
Thanks for submitting this one, TJO! LLRP!!
Words are given meaning by the listener. Or not.
This is my upload and I always get a little lift from hearing it!

Hearing the album version in heavy rotation here got me into MMJ and then I got this album and thought it would be good to have this (obviously similar, but a bit more oomph to it) in the rotation too. So, all-around pleased to have it pumped into my ears this morning.
 ziggytrix wrote:

The way that he sings. Like a dog with it's foot caught in a trap. Howling for someone to cut it loose.

I guess some people like it for whatever reason. {#No}
 
To use another line from the song: "It's a mystery, I guess"

enough of a mystery that I thoroughly enjoy to go 7+2 today, I guess it's not the band or the words he sings to me either...Long Live RP!!
Very pretty song that manages to rock hard.
 coyotexxx2 wrote:

This is one of the best bands live that I have ever seen and I have seen my share.  Sure, a valid complaint if you isolate his voice.  But add it to the entire package, to the sonic reality and landscape that is created, and it makes perfect sense.   

 
That's the music I look for.
Nice guitar sound on this number, especially for a live track.
I love the circular nature of this song, how hearing it makes it true.
 ziggytrix wrote:

The way that he sings. Like a dog with it's foot caught in a trap. Howling for someone to cut it loose.

I guess some people like it for whatever reason. {#No}

 
This is one of the best bands live that I have ever seen and I have seen my share.  Sure, a valid complaint if you isolate his voice.  But add it to the entire package, to the sonic reality and landscape that is created, and it makes perfect sense.   
 PRoeder61 wrote:
Interesting to see folks going to and fro re being able to understand the lyrics.  Isn't that the point of the song?  "It's just the way that he sings, not the words that he says."  I don't know much about music, but the tone/note whatever that he hits (the feeling of resolution) when he delivers that line (esp. in the studio version) always gives me a chill.  It is absolutely just the way that he sings.  

 
The way that he sings. Like a dog with it's foot caught in a trap. Howling for someone to cut it loose.

I guess some people like it for whatever reason. {#No}
Awesome song.
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Who f*cking cares about lyrics?
I don't know; maybe anyone with an IQ higher than a garden rake?
Unbelievable.

 
I have to disagree with this. Some people approach music in a way that is probably completely different than how you do so. Some people are tone deaf and focus on the beat. Some people are more interested in the musicianship and could care less about the vocals altogether. Some people are non-English speakers and have no idea what the vocalist is singing (or English-speakers who actually appreciate non-English songs). Some people obsess over the lead singer being off-key, something that the rest of us pay little heed to.

And there are others, like myself, that have a tendency to focus on the vocals, but glaze over the lyrics. It's not that I don't care about them or that I don't understand them, or that I am too stupid (no pissing contest here, but I'm significantly smarter than a f*cking garden rake). Even singing with the song, sometimes I find myself parroting the lyrics, much like a scribe would just draw the symbols on the page. I like the feel of a song, the tone & intricacy of the vocals, and the way it touches me emotionally, viscerally; sometimes I'm lucky enough to connect with the actual lyrics & maybe the meaning behind them.

Years ago, I went to a full-band open mic night and a group of young adults were playing some sort of thrash metal. It was not my sort of thing, but the other "kids" in the audience were into it. The frontman was grunting into the microphone, but he's also reading lyrics off a notebook in his hand. It blew my mind; maybe I wasn't hearing it right, maybe I wasn't used to that style of singing, maybe I didn't need to understand it, but just feel it, "be" it.

Sure, Eddie Vedder needs to enunciate more often, but just because someone else doesn't appreciate music the same way you do does not make them stupid. Don't go there.
Interesting to see folks going to and fro re being able to understand the lyrics.  Isn't that the point of the song?  "It's just the way that he sings, not the words that he says."  I don't know much about music, but the tone/note whatever that he hits (the feeling of resolution) when he delivers that line (esp. in the studio version) always gives me a chill.  It is absolutely just the way that he sings.  
{#Dancingbanana}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Clap}{#Good-vibes}{#Drummer}{#Music} oh and let me add to that {#Bananajam}


there is a line in the song about how it's 'not the words he sings'
 dragon1952 wrote:
Christ, I've been listening to music for 57 yrs and that describes about 80% of what I've ever heard. Who....fucking....cares? If you're that interested in the lyrics then you can freakin' Google them :^ / The days of Frank Sinatra are long gone bro....sorry.
 
Who f*cking cares about lyrics?
I don't know; maybe anyone with an IQ higher than a garden rake?
Unbelievable.
Well that's over now, thank you. 
Wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-o-weh o-wim-weh.
 dragon1952 wrote:

Christ, I've been listening to music for 57 yrs and that describes about 80% of what I've ever heard. Who....fucking....cares? If you're that interested in the lyrics then you can freakin' Google them :^ / The days of Frank Sinatra are long gone bro....sorry.

 

Wrong. I am one of those...who fucking care.  It's true that the musical energy itself is a large component, and if the music thrills I'll give muddle lyrics a pass, but if bands that seem to deliberately garble the singer—I'm calling out you, MMJ, and Radiohead, and others—are not interested in clearly reproducing what is being sung than perhaps...don't...have...a...fucking...singer.  A machine can drone just as well if not better, get one. Dylan, The Beatles, LaMontagne, Cohen, Springsteen, REM, etc. et al have prided themselves on what they played, as well as WROTE because the words were at times more important to the track than the music. The lyrics and music are meant to synergize and complement each other. I can't name one Beatles song with mumbled lyrics. Don't have to freakin' google a one. 
Love this song and this band, saw them small venue in Seattle last Fall...Jim James has buckets of charisma live, great guitarist
 jukes1 wrote:
6 - Fairly good on my "incomprehensible lyrics" scale.

 
Christ, I've been listening to music for 57 yrs and that describes about 80% of what I've ever heard. Who....fucking....cares? If you're that interested in the lyrics then you can freakin' Google them :^ / The days of Frank Sinatra are long gone bro....sorry.
not so good live then..
Recorded at the Fillmore 2004 -sweet!
one of the bands that reignited my passion for  new music.. Thanks MMJ!
 
i make my own words.
 kingart wrote:
Love the music's energy. But I can barely understand a freaking word he is singing. Annoying. 

 

Then treat his voice as another instrument then perhaps you can enjoy as much as I am...
 Baketown wrote:

These guys are great Live!!!



 
Hope to see them some time - was out of town last time they were in Boston
I love this song!

These guys are great Live!!!


Who says Rock n' Roll is dead or has lost it's creative juices?!?! This is fantatstic!
 jukes1 wrote:
6 - Fairly good on my "incomprehensible lyrics" scale.

 
"It's just the way that he sings
Not the words that he says or the band"
Just saw them at Americanarama in Tampa. MMJ and Wilco only played an hour each - not near long enough. Dylan was a massive disappointment.  
Saw them on "Storytellers"... wow, zip it dude. About as deep as a kiddie pool. Totally ruined it for my wife. I like them though, nice sound and the man can belt. I agree, what the hell is he saying?
6 - Fairly good on my "incomprehensible lyrics" scale.
The studio version is a "meh" for me.  This one's quite a bit worse.  
Love the music's energy. But I can barely understand a freaking word he is singing. Annoying. 
Nice!
Definately not the best MMJ song...  but it's above "meh"...
       
Prefer the studio version but I won't turn the volume down on this live version.
Love this set. Two great live versions in a row. Where's my guitar ...
I hate giving a live version the same high rating as I do the original.  Just doesn't seem fair.
I gave this a 5 last time around. Sounds about right. It's such a generic sounding song that it's neither good nor bad.
Always think, at first, that this is the Pretenders.......6
Bowie to Bowie via Nirvana to MMJ. Sublime, not the band but the actual word for this set. 
 jnhashmi wrote:
This is a great example of why I disdain live versions most of the time. The studio version of this song is magical. But live it sounds like a noisy mess - all the subtle sonic texture is obliterated.

 
I also agree. Since I'm not nearly as articulate as you, I'll just say this sounds mushy. 
Nice.
 jnhashmi wrote:
This is a great example of why I disdain live versions most of the time. The studio version of this song is magical. But live it sounds like a noisy mess - all the subtle sonic texture is obliterated.

 
I agree with losing a lot of the texture. But the fact that they're playing this about 30 beats a minute faster than the studio version turns it into a rocker, and I can take this on its own merits.  I still prefer the studio cut, but this flat out got me moving in my seat.

 jnhashmi wrote:
This is a great example of why I disdain live versions most of the time. The studio version of this song is magical. But live it's sounds like a noisy mess - all the subtle sonic texture is obliterated.
 
I agree completely!

This is a great example of why I disdain live versions most of the time. The studio version of this song is magical. But live it sounds like a noisy mess - all the subtle sonic texture is obliterated.

Amazing live band, incredible how tight they are live.
10! 
9 —> 10!!!
Monday I will be seeing them in Paradiso, Amsterdam! {#Dancingbanana}
"good" !?  LOL Your KILLING me Smalls! {#Roflol}
They are great live too!!
I hate this band!! (Not anymore).  I used to, but the more that I hear the more I like
The way that he sings really is good
 chyk5 wrote:

In the top 5 of the live bands I've seen. You should give them a chance. I would go to every show when they came through Atlanta (5 or 6 concerts there?) and was blown away every time.
 
Okay, I will. See you at Meadowbrook on July 16.
 Grammarcop wrote:
I was thinking about buying tickets to see these guys when they came through town this summer (mostly because Neko Case is the opening act), but based on this vocal performance I think I might be wasting money.

 
In the top 5 of the live bands I've seen. You should give them a chance. I would go to every show when they came through Atlanta (5 or 6 concerts there?) and was blown away every time.


I was thinking about buying tickets to see these guys when they came through town this summer (mostly because Neko Case is the opening act), but based on this vocal performance I think I might be wasting money.

Fantastic! These guys rock!
Nice! And nice cover art!

 
DanFHiggins wrote:

I like the studio sound better.  

justin4kick wrote:
Is it because of the way that he sings?

———————————————————————————————-

{#Lol}
 

 ziggytrix wrote:

Is it because of the way that he sings?
It couldn't be!  He sounds quite terrible (to my ears) in this recording.  I've heard dogs howl with better pitch.  Was he drunk? :(

The rest of the band seemed to be in top form though.

 

Ha! Yes!
You got me. I'm a fan now.
 justin4kick wrote:
  DanFHiggins wrote:
I like the studio sound better.  


Is it because of the way that he sings?


It couldn't be!  He sounds quite terrible (to my ears) in this recording.  I've heard dogs howl with better pitch.  Was he drunk? :(

The rest of the band seemed to be in top form though.

For a minute I was expecting Peter Frampton's Show Me The Way :)
 DanFHiggins wrote:
I like the studio sound better. A great song none the less.
 

I'm with you.
 peter_james_bond wrote:

This live version beats the studio version hands down!
 
yes...!
 DanFHiggins wrote:
I like the studio sound better.  


Is it because of the way that he sings?
I really enjoy this band!

Jim James -Newport Folk Fest by ~JohannaStudios
Kieran John Delaney   ©2008-2010 ~JohannaStudios

08.02.08 @ The Newport Folk Festival


Nice!!
I like the studio sound better. A great song none the less.
 paulmack wrote:

Saw 'em live 5 or 6 years ago, maybe even 7. Hated 'em! But I keep hearing songs since - in large part due to RP - that I like. So I don't know what went wrong that one night. I hadn't heard anything by them at the time - don't know whether that had anything to do with it or not.

 
I had a similar experience with Cowboy Junkies when they backed up Sting.
 Pyro wrote:
These guys can sound kinda wimpy in the studio, but I LIKE this live version!!!
 
Yes but they are nothing without their reverb.  It has to be a cavernous hall.

YAWN.....................
 Pyro wrote:
These guys can sound kinda wimpy in the studio, but I LIKE this live version!!!
 
This live version beats the studio version hands down!

 CamLwalk wrote:

I thought that, but I'm starting to see the light.

 
Saw 'em live 5 or 6 years ago, maybe even 7. Hated 'em! But I keep hearing songs since - in large part due to RP - that I like. So I don't know what went wrong that one night. I hadn't heard anything by them at the time - don't know whether that had anything to do with it or not.

 sirdroseph wrote:
Honestly, I do not understand what everyone sees in this band.{#Stupid}

 
I thought that, but I'm starting to see the light.

MMJ are great!
This song is awesome!
I think he is one of the best voices in rock today!

They kick ass live!

Not a noteworthy set this evening. Just doesn't draw me in. Turning blue here.
Honestly, I do not understand what everyone sees in this band.{#Stupid}

they way that they play this and every other tune live is why i gave it a 10.  i have said it before and i will say it again; i freakin love this band and pert near everything that they have ever put out, old and new.  what can i say, "its meaning i understand..."
The Way That He Sings (Live) is why I give it a 1.
Sounds like Niel Young to me.   Me like.{#Whistle}
i dig the older mmj.  the new album?  not at all.
 HarrO wrote:
I think I'm starting to "get" these guys. Took a while, but I kinda like it.
 
I agree.  I've heard some of their stuff, but nothing really pulled me in for repeat listenings, up until this one.

Maybe it's the live vibe, but this one's good.


I think I'm starting to "get" these guys. Took a while, but I kinda like it.
Dy...No...Mite! {#Drummer}{#Guitarist}{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajam}{#Guitarist}
 TimmyMack wrote:

A great, great band. Sold NYC out in 20 minutes. Couldnt get tickets, oh well.


 
It is because there is too many people in NYC.

Even if I don't really like country - this song just doesn't sound like country - when I find some country song here it's almost everytime a great song.

This song here reminds me strongly of some Runrig songs, especially the guitar sounds like played by MacDonald.
I generally don't like country and western music but I'm amazed at how much alt country I am enjoying here at RP:  Neko Case, Calexico and My Morning Jacket.  And yes, I like the way he sings!
I was definitely digging the edgier guitars on this.  Next time, I'll have to pay more attention to the vocals...
This song rocks. Boo to you haters. ;)
Bill must be getting himself jacked up for the weekend.  He's really playing some music that has me turning up the volume here at the office.

He plays a song, it completes and I turn down the volume because I think the next one will be a dud, BUT NNOOOOOO!

The next one's even better and I turn it up again.

Great Thursday Bill.

Thanks!{#Clap}

A great, great band. Sold NYC out in 20 minutes. Couldnt get tickets, oh well.


 Frater_Kork wrote:
In order for my ratings to follow some kind of bell curve and actually make statistic sense I'm going to have to start adding stuff in the 1-4 category. This track will do nicely as a counter to all the tens I've awarded.
 
Hah... totally agree.

My ratings are VERY top heavy... just never feel the need to rank something I utterly hate.  This one just isn't good though.  Lots of folks here like it so, more power to them.  Can't like everything here... 
 Hannio wrote:


Along with the "a-wee-ohm-bohm-bohm" dancers, who stood in solidarity with the singers.

 
...single tear trickles down one's cheek as he thinks about past loves, past pain, and the past hayday of "a-wee-ohm-bohm-bohm" singing; an era now gone, to be forgotten by later generations.

 Excelsior wrote:
Offensive to the ears in every way.
 

So you continue to remind those of us, ad nauseam, who enjoy this band.

 lionirons wrote:

The "a-wee-ohm-bohm-bohm singers" were demanding a significant pay raise and were fired.
 

Along with the "a-wee-ohm-bohm-bohm" dancers, who stood in solidarity with the singers.

Offensive to the ears in every way.
grace6697 wrote:
seeing them live will change your life.
quite a statement! i thought i'd see more gripes about how different their studio stuff is (which is also great) now i can't wait to see them live love to my Kentucky homeboys YEAH!
This is a kick ass band!!!!
What a great stretch of music, I was really struggling to get motivated at work, now I feel uplifted, thanks Bill :yes: :clap:
Man, they are a great band live. You'll probably like them better if you see them live first! Pyro wrote:
These guys can sound kinda wimpy in the studio, but I LIKE this live version!!!
These guys can sound kinda wimpy in the studio, but I LIKE this live version!!!
MMJ puts on an amazing show. I saw them open for Foo Fighters back in 2003. ...they put on a better show than the Foo Fighters.
That washed the Cohen out of my ears just fine, thank you.
chyk5 wrote:
Yes, I agree your opinion is rather pointless and uneventful. Thanks for it!
Cheap shot.
Great live band. Check them out on ACL Music Festival DVD.
pyxxel wrote:
rather pointless and uneventful...
Yes, I agree your opinion is rather pointless and uneventful. Thanks for it!
If I'm not mistaken the 'studio version' was acutally recorded in a grain silo.
rather pointless and uneventful...
grace6697 wrote:
seeing them live will change your life.
Totally. I saw them open for Pearl Jam. Incredible band(s).
seeing them live will change your life.
In 20 years of going to live shows, this band was the best. A must see. Great way to end the day.
Arianrhod"ohhh the end has some energy
Yes, it does. Good segue into Petty.