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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So nearly a classic..., 11 Sep 2003
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
The Jayhawks- America's greatest unknown band. If there were any justice in the cruel world of music, these guys would be multi-millionaires, sunning themselves in Beverley Hills, sipping champagne while young, buxom beauties feed them grapes. But instead, they remain undiscovered by the general public, destined to forever plough a lonely Americana furrow. But what a furrow it is.
The Jayhawks are perhaps best known for their crowning achievement Hollywood Town Hall, a towering album that still stands as the best slice of American music made by anyone in the last 15 years. With Rainy Day Music however, they have created an album that comes close, oh so close, to equalling their former heights. The first six songs are magnificant, with Stumbling Through the Dark, Tailspin and Save It For a Rainy Day among the best songs in the 'Hawks canon. Problems arise however, when Gary Louris, the chief songwriter, allows three songs to make it on to the album that are, in all honesty, substandard. While one of the songs-You Look so Young- is penned by himself, the other wretched two, Don't Let the World Get in Your Way and Will I See You in Heaven, prevent the album from being a bona fide masterpiece. If only Louris had replaced these songs with Fools on Parade, Say Your Prayers and Caught With A Smile on my Face from the bonus disc that came with early pressings of the album, Rainy Day Music would not only have been the greatest Jayhawks album,but one of the greatest ever recorded. As I said, oh so close.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just for a rainy day, 13 May 2003
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This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
After the patchy 'Sound OF Lies' and the disastrously experimental 'Smile', Gary Louris needed to pull an album of great songs out of the bag to prove that the Jayhawks weren't washed up when Mark Olson left to pursue a quasi-solo career with wife Victoria Williams. Wisely, he's chosen to return to ditch the preoccupation with 1960's acid-rock and return to the rootsy, folky rock music that did so much to make the Jayhawks' name in the first place.
The album vindicates his decision. It's a wonderful slice of sunny, summery pop music and deceptively simple, but strong, songwriting. The vocal harmonies are out in force, and the influence of producer Ethan Johns shines through with the Byrdsian jangle of polished guitars and raw, honest production values. For any newcomers to the Jayhawks, this is as good a place to start as any - accessible and deep. (You may want to check "Tomorrow The Green Grass" first, though.)
From 'Stumbling Through The Dark' via 'All The Right Reasons',' Save It For A Rainy Day', 'One Man's Problem', the harmonies and tunes keep on coming, one after the other. It's almost an embarrassment of riches - until Tim O'Reagan contributes 'Don't Let The World Get In Your Way', which sounds uncannily like David Bowie's Space Oddity but isn't anywhere near as good. Not to despair - the album finishes strongly with 'Tampa To Tulsa' and a reprise of the opening track, by which time you want to press 'play' and enjoy it all over again. Perfect for summer, and great to hear the Jayhawks doing what they do best once again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appeals to all alt-country lovers not just Jayhawks fans., 17 July 2004
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
More mainstream-sounding than most of their previous albums, and the harmonies sound a lot smoother. I would like to say rootsy but everyone seems to be describing this album like that so I won't bother, but it appeals to me more than say, "Hollywood Town Hall" which I still fail to see why it gets such rave reviews (don't get me wrong, still a good album). My other favourite is "Tomorrow The Green Grass", but getting back to "Rainy Day Music"; those who like their music more on the beaten path should like it. Those who like to stray from this path, try it anyway, or listen to Wilco, or whatever.
P.S. If you're a fan, look for the special edition version with the Bonus CD "More Rain", which contains 5 more live and unreleased tracks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of recent years, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
This has to be one of the highlights of 2003. Rainy Day Music is just fantastic, so much so that I've driven everyone I know crazy by constantly singing "Save it for a Rainy Day", which has to be one of the best things they've ever written. I would recommend this album to anyone who loves the laid back Amercana sound, and anyone who's heard me sing and wants to know what the album really sounds like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the year 2003 is a 'back to the roots' rock album, 8 Jan 2004
By 
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
Rainy Day Music is one of those records that you just didn't expect this year. Between the dominance of the Rap and Hip Hop scnens, to the revival of 'harder' forms of rock than the Jayhawks' folkish kind by groups like the White Stripes et al, there just didn't seem to be any room left for them. Be that as it may, these veterans have made a record that stands out, a record comparable to me ,to the great Dylan records (Desire,Blood on the Tracks) or After the Gold Rush , or any other on that list. Simple, acoustic,mostly quiet music that is mississippi delta as much as it is pop-like in melody.
Don't miss it. Within it my especial reccommendation goes to two tracks: 'All the right reasons' ,which is a brilliant ballad, and 'Save it for a rainy day', which is more driven and majoristic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, not quite perfect, 16 April 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As the Amazon critic says, this is a fine album marred only by a couple of less immediately appealing tracks on the back half where Gary Louris generously and democratically hands the reins to Marc Perlman or Tim O'Reagan. The first half-dozen songs are vintage Louris -- both upbeat and bittersweet -- recalling The Byrds at their folk-rock best. The (alleged) overproduction of their last album "Smile" is replaced here with a more stripped-down sound that accentuates the country-rock vibe.
Although many still prefer The Jayhawks of yore (when Mark Olsen was the prime mover), personally I like everything Mr Louris and this revitalised band throw at me -- from the desperate angst of "Sound of Lies" and the mellow pop of "Smile" to this, more rootsy album.
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4.0 out of 5 stars go for it !, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: Rainy Day Music [VINYL] (Vinyl)
there's some great stuff on this album and I love it...the couple of not so good ones let it down but in general well worthy addition to the Jayhawks catalogue
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Jayhawks starting place!, 29 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
This is a great album. For someone who is farily new to the Jayhawks, i was slightly unsure of some of tha later stuff but am really pleased to have picked this up.
Hollywood Townhall and Tomorrow the Green Grass are great albums but i like the fact the harmonies on this album are a bit smoother. It's also got a lovely Byrds feel in places and is great for a chilled summer album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Alt-Country Masterpiece, 5 Mar 2004
I recently got into the Jayhawks after accidentally downloading Tailspin. It sat on my hard drive for a few weeks as I was too lazy to delete it. I then rediscovered it, played it, and was hooked.
After listening to a few other songs, mostly off of Rainy Day Music, I went out and bought the limited edition import (with the bonus CD). If you are an alt-country fan I strongly suggest this album. The music is simple yet it stands out above most other artists of this genre because of the unique harmonies of Gary Louris and Mark Olson, and the expert playing of the band as a whole.
The music is much more rootsy than that of their previous albums and as such may appeal to a more mainstream audience, yet they have not compromised their integrity nor their alt-country sound. This is such that the Jayhawks have not become more mainstream; more the mainstream audience has been pulled into the Jayhawks brand of alt-country.
An excellent album, possibly set to become a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as original as Sound of Lies, 8 Oct 2003
By 
John GG Lancashire "John Lancashire" (Reading, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rainy Day Music (Audio CD)
Already owning the absolutely awesome "Sound of Lies", I bought this album based upon a review I read in The Sunday Times.
It's amazing how subjective music can be and whilst I find this album to generally agreeable, there is little here to make The Jayhawks stand out from many other high quality country rock acts.
However, there is one standout track for which I keep getting this album off the shelf. The sublime "You Look So Young" smoulders and yearns in a similar way to "Think About It" or "The Man Who Loved Life" from "Sound of Lies", but with a mellower arrangement.
Also contrary to other reviewers opinions, "Tailspin" is the one track I tend to skip. This I find to be a rather bland rocker - so bland it could even be The Eagles.
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Rainy Day Music
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