Regions of Light and Sound of God

Jim James

If “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” doesn’t get Jim James a guest spot on “Sesame Street,” the producers are nuts. James takes the game of learning vowels, mixes it up into a strange, cryptic journey, and makes me rethink my first grade teacher’s approach. Elsewhere, Regions is everywhere at once. “A New Life” is the stuff of teen idol legends, “Exploding” is a sweet acoustic instrumental, and “Know Til Now” quietly erupts into a swinging jazz number. All float into one another seamlessly, bridging gaps between James’ influences and his execution. James waxes spiritual throughout, especially at the end with “All is Forgiven” and “God’s Love to Deliver,” paying tribute to MLK’s principles of equality. James also seems to believe in a diversity of sound, making Regions an absolute treat for those who don’t discriminate against multi-genre goodness.