The Jayhawks: Mockingbird Time 

The Jayhawks: Mockingbird Time 

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The Jayhawks

Album: Mockingbird Time
Label: Rounder

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It probably would’ve been easy for Gary Louris and Mark Olson to reconvene The Jayhawks and just pick up where they left off as partners in 1995, recording a sound-alike sequel to their classics Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow The Green Grass. Instead, their new album, Mockingbird Time, takes into account 15 years of musical growth on the part of both men, from Louris’ post-Olson embrace of power-pop to Olson’s post-Louris exploration of long-line melodies and mountain music. The best songs on Mockingbird Time wind through changes, like a dialectical debate between Louris’ rock side and Olson’s folk side. Songs like “Hide Your Colors,” “Closer To Your Side,” and “She Walks In So Many Ways” jangle and chug like classic Jayhawks, but with an extra bridge here or solo there: evidence of a surfeit of ideas, jostling for position. Sometimes—about half the time, frankly—the band’s warring impulses on Mockingbird Time result in awkward or overbaked material. But then Louris and Olson will connect with the slow, gliding, CSNY-like “Tiny Arrows,” or the gorgeously aspirational rocker “Cinnamon Love,” and suddenly the years they spent apart seem like a damnable waste. 

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