Sound Of Lies - The Jayhawks (America)

Label:American Records
Itís Up To You
Dying On The Vine
Sound Of Lies

Rating: 10/10

The fact that the Jayhawks ever got around to recording Sound Of Lies, their fourth album after the critically acclaimed Tomorrow The Green Grass, is somewhat of a miracle. Not only did principle songwriter Mark Olson leave the band to launch a solo career but co-leader Gary Louris also split from his wife at the same time. Not surprisingly, the large majority of Sound Of Lies deals with this sad and turbulent period of Lourisís life.

Those who were expecting a repeat of gorgeous sounds of their last album will be quite surprised in the new direction that the Jayhawks have taken, as evidenced by the day-glo, pop art and semi-psychedelic cover. Gone is the standard Alt. Country / roots sound, which has been replaced by a darker, more sombre sound with the exception of the upbeat, almost pop song Big Star (not about the band but actually being one). Moving away from the standard verse-chorus-verse song structure, Sound Of Lies finds the Jayhawks introducing more instrumental breaks into their sound. Acidic, fuzz-laced guitar solos and throbbing basses have replaced the pedal steel guitars to form an integral part of the Jayhawks sound, as best demonstrated by Haywire and Dying On The Vine. Thankfully, however, they havenít lost their talent for beautiful and touching harmonies. Sound Of Lies is a landmark recording that finds the Jayhawks successfully reinventing their country rock image.

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