Review by LarryG|
4 stars out of 4
The Jayhawks had one of the best track records of any band in the 90's.
Hollywood Town Hall established Gary Louris and Marc Olson as good
harmonizers and writers of serious, interesting folk rock songs with a
real flavor of the midwest. Tomorrow the Green Grass showed added musical
sophistication and was a generally joyful record. It looked like the
band's improvement might be stopped when Olson left the band, but Sound
of Lies is an indication that Louris was always the genius of the band.
Sound of Lies is a breathtaking, unified, adult work. It's a leisurely
record of mostly slow songs which yields its pleasures slowly but patience
and repeated listenings are definitely rewarded. Sound of Lies is a theme
album of sorts; the songs are mostly tales of a kind of depressed guy
trying to see the best in things and cut through the garbage to simple
truths. Trouble is a "bittersweet lament" about "trying
to find a sweeter sound." When Louris sings in Haywire that the
answer is to "smile, smile, smile", it's hard not to believe
him. Louris' voice poignantly communicates the bittersweet nature of the
songs. Drummer Tim O'Reagan ably replaces Olson on harmonies and Karen
Grotberg's keyboards lighten the serious mood.
Here's what others reviewers have to say:
"...remaining chief songwriter, Gary Louris, has pointed the band
more toward his folk-pop preferences and psychedelic experimentation..."
2.5 Stars (out of 5) Rolling Stone 4/17/97, p.78
"...The emphasis here is shifted slightly from the group's country
roots to a more straightforwardly melodic, at times Beatlesque songwriting
approach..." 4 Stars (out of 5) Q Magazine 5/97, p.122