on 28 October 2001
I must have listened to this record a thousand times and never get tired of it. At the time it was seen as a major departure from the Mark Olson era Jayhawks who sometimes tried too hard to stick closely to their influences (The Flying Burrito Bros for instance). It also got buried when its record company went belly up the week it was recorded. So some diehard Jayhawks fans were put off - it still hasnt sold as many copies as Hollywood Town Hall - whilst a potential new audience never got a chance to hear of it.
Which is a shame as each track from the Man who Loved Life to the closing Sound of Lies is magnificent. Gary Louris's voice - the best in rock, in my opinion - is brought to the fore with the rest of the band joining in on harmonies that recall the Mamas and Papas. The album is about Louris's messy separation and is deeply personal and probably best heard whilst you are on your own.
Many of the tracks go for a big build up and chorus. Its up to you has a simpler style whilst Big Star reflects the style of that famous band. Listening to this track you know that Louris never thinks he will be a Big Star and he is probably right. More fool the record buying public for ignoring this beautiful record and this great band.
on 9 November 2007
One of the great songwriters, alongside a wonderful mix of musicians, and wearing his heart on his sleave, Louris gently, energetically, and respectfully buries everything that came before. SOL is a bonefide Masterpiece, and with it deserves its place among the great albums in anyone's lifetime.
To borrow a phrase of a very good friend of mine: "It's a no risk purchase..". Enjoy.
on 2 August 2000
Thoughtful, bittersweet, achingly beautiful--"The Sound of Lies" is full of wonderful, turbulent and emotionally moving moments: the ballads "Trouble" and "Stick in the Mud" are real heart-on-the-sleeve songs--anyone not moved by these truly has no soul. The rest of the album is an experimental mix of new styles, but always Louris & his band put their heart and soul into the music. But you'll need to listen carefully over and over to really appreciate what they are doing. Grown-up music for grown-ups
on 11 March 2011
Every next track that comes on, you think, oh great, this one. Even though you want to skip back to hear the other great tracks you've just heard. Every single track is a gem. Hard to beat that. Permanently stuck in my car stereo.
on 20 December 2010
The Jayhawks - Sound Of Lies (American)
Hands up everyone who thought we'd seen and heard the last of The Jayhawks. With the departure of Mark Olson the general consensus was that they wouldn't record again, but they're back with what's proving to be a fine album.
The first side is classic Jayhawks. Gary Louris is in great voice, and the harmonies with Karen Grotberg add a whole new dimension to the band. With one quality song after another, it's good to hear them back again and on top form.
The piano led opener "The Man Who Loved Life" provides the perfect start, before "Think About It" and "Trouble" begin kicking in. The latter reminiscent of CSN's "Our House", though nowhere near as annoying. Other highpoints include "Big Star", "Haywire" and "Dying On A Vine"
Some songs do miss Olson's voice but "Sound Of Lies" is still a great record from a great American band.
on 1 November 2001
When Mark Olson left The Jayhawks to be with Victoria Williams, he took a lot with him. The band he left are a very different one to that which recorded Tomorrow The Green Grass. But you can only take music on it's own terms, and listen to this record in its own right.
No question that the overall quality of the songs is awesome, but something is missing and even the word 'quality' seems very apt - like tugging at the seam of a pair of trousers on a saturday afternoon in M&S - look at the quality! Maybe this is music for 'grown-ups' like the other review said...
The Man Who Loved Loved Life is an amazing way to start the record, and I thought Gary Louris was going to pull the whole thing off, but just like Smile three years later, the band play their trump card first. That's not to say it's downhill from here; Sound of Lies itself and Sixteen Down in particular are beautiful and Gary Loris writes amazing lyrics that are so honest and heartbreaking that every song has a depth and emotional quality that sets him apart from most other songwriters today. He has a wonderful voice too, kind of thin but full, a bit reedy (hardly Mark Olson, but we shouldn't mention him!) but gorgeous - James Taylor's voice was once described as a warm fire to curl up next to (or something) and Gary Louris' has that same quality. Not only that, but the melodies are often distinctly Gary Louris. Beck is the only other person I can think of who you could play just the simple melody on a piano and have people recognize it straight off. Great playing throughout, too, although perhaps certain bass players should stick to playing bass and not writing songs...
I guess the problem is they can't get away from the past. You know how when you're young, you go out with someone for ages and it seems perfect and wonderful, then you break up and are crushed and you'll never be happy and much later you *really* meet someone and you know from the off that you never had a clue until now what you you were talking about when you were talking about love? Well, with The Jayhawks its the other way round!
on 27 August 2014
Having really liked Jayhawks tracks from years back, bought a couple of albums well before catching them on their UK tour this summer and this, along with 'Rainy Day Music', has been a pleasure. Great songs, fine arrangements, memorable hooks - and they were great on the night, too!
on 17 June 2012
I GOT JUST ONE C.D. BY THIS BAND YEARS AGO THE ONE WITH THE STETSON HAT ON IT, WHICH I LOVED THEN YEARS LATER I GOT THE 3 DISC SET A GREATEST HITS OR BEST BITS COMPILATION LAST JULY FROM THIS I SET ABOUT GETTING THEIR BACK CATALOGE AND THIS IS ONE OF THOSE.I HAVE NOT BEEN LET DOWN IN MY EXPECTATIONS BY ANY OF THEM,