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The Jayhawks

Sound of Lies – 2014 (American/UME)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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Time has been kind to The Jayhawks' "Sound of Lies," originally released in 1997. The album was also the first one recorded after Mark Olson (one half of the original songwriting partnership with Gary Louris) had left the group. Nevertheless, these many years later, songs like "It's Up To you" are pleasing still with their country goodness - especially in contrast to the annoying Southern rock influence upon today's omnipresent mainstream bro-country scene - making these tunes sound particularly authentic.

Although he was now the primary songwriter, with all the inherent responsibility, Louris' beautifully quivery voice was nevertheless still there vocalizing and pulling insistently at the old heartstrings - as usual. Granted, "Big Star" sounds a little glam rocky in places, but for the most part, this is a set of strong Jayhawks country-esque music.

This reissue includes five extra cuts. "I Hear You Cry" is a tender ballad, whereas "Sleepyhead," the b-side to "Big Star," is a quiet, moody piece. The studio outtake of "Kirby's Tune" finds the group jamming in a swampy way. There is also an alternative version of "It's Up to You," which doesn't sound all that different from the original. Lastly, a rough mix of "Sound Of Lies" is merely a less polished take on the final mix.

Ultimately, time has only made "Sound of Lies" sound better, and that's the truth.