• Record Label: ATO
  • Release Date: Jun 29, 2018
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. 83
    As the album comes to a close, its success lies in the honesty and purity that went into its creation.
  2. Jul 12, 2018
    80
    Like many of James’s records both as a solo artist and in My Morning Jacket, Uniform Distortion occasionally suffers dips in quality control and consequently the truly great album you feel he’s capable of is once again frustratingly elusive. But it’s still an absolute blast.
  3. Jul 2, 2018
    80
    While it may not be any easier to make one's way through the distortion that James references, it is somehow easier to bear because of the empathy, joy, and contradiction in these songs.
  4. Jun 29, 2018
    80
    His mix of musical joie de vivre and lyrical home truths prove fiendishly effective.
  5. 80
    There are enough artistic twists and turns to please even the most dedicated Jacket fan, showing that James remains as musically edgy as ever on an album that pulses with energy, enthusiasm and the restless spirit James has always personified.
  6. Jun 26, 2018
    80
    James's musicianship and carefully crafted stylistic dynamics compete with the very "uniform distortion" he is pushing against with this album.
  7. Classic Rock Magazine
    Jun 25, 2018
    80
    A carefree antidote to worrying times. [Summer 2018, p.91]
  8. Mojo
    Jun 25, 2018
    80
    There is a levity to Uniform Distortion that differentiates it from all James's previous work. Indeed, work is the last thing it resembles. [Aug 2018, p.86]
  9. Jun 22, 2018
    79
    Uniform Distortion, while not quite living up to its title in sound or substance, finds James pulling back on the atmospheric embellishment that characterized his earlier solo work and revving up the energy and intensity. Nearly every offering boasts an elevated level of drive and determination, a fervent exuberance that makes no apologies for lack of restraint.
  10. Jul 9, 2018
    76
    Uniform Distortion abounds with displays of James’ fiery fretwork, but he rarely wields his other signature weapon--that angelic croon that trembles with vulnerability yet can soar high enough to rattle satellites. In the fleeting moments when it does surface, the effect is doubly stunning.
  11. Jun 29, 2018
    75
    It doesn’t offer any particularly novel insights into the crushing, nearly unavoidable hellscape of the digital age, but instead fights valiantly against its grasp with Godzilla-size hooks, solos both vicious and dreamy, and lush production that encourages turning on, tuning in, and dropping out.
  12. Jul 5, 2018
    70
    Such concerns about the pitfalls of contemporary life are well-worn and Uniform Distortion largely retreads these coordinates. The excitement of this music, nonetheless, is its undeniable kinetic energy, as James laughs through his lyrics and bounds over his riffs.
  13. Jun 25, 2018
    70
    Uniform Distortion is James' transition into rock 'n' roll royalty, a veteran at last.
  14. Uncut
    Jun 22, 2018
    70
    His self-deprecating humour and goofball vocals leaven these dark songs about mortality, confusion and alienation, lending both levity and gravity to the staticky guitar riffs and soaring choruses. [Aug 2018, p.28]
  15. 70
    Uniform Distortion may be the most straightforward sounding a set of Jim James songs has ever released, but they’ve somehow absorbed the distortion of today’s world and turned it into something we can all make sense of, and in which we can seek some solace.
  16. Jul 2, 2018
    60
    Cackling, croaking, and cracking up through vocal processors, he sounds like he’s having a blast. And you will too, even if you don’t remember any of it by morning--which also seems perfectly in the spirit of thin
  17. Q Magazine
    Jun 22, 2018
    60
    Now it would seem that the 40-year-old is keen to get back to that place, smashing through extremo rockers such as You Get To Rome and enjoying himself so much that he often audibly breaks into laughter. Sometimes, though, it tips over in to jammy self-indulgence. [Summer 2018, p.110]

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