The Jayhawks, 'Mockingbird Time' (Rounder)

7
Mockingbird Time
Critical Mass
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Label: Rounder

by Nate Cavalieri

The Jayhawks' best ?moments depend on their two songwriters' bipolarity -- when Gary Louris' sunny, '70s-pop sheen gets scuffed up by Mark Olson's disheveled folk rock. That tension made them critical darlings until the partnership dissolved after 1995's near-breakthrough Tomorrow the Green Grass. Louris and Olson reunited as a duo in 2008, but here they rekindle the band's singular dynamic: a sugared pop strut ("She Walks in So Many Ways"), tempered by the heart-wrenching harmonies and sinister vibe of "Tiny Arrows." Ignore the mouth-breathing rock bangers, and Mockingbird is as comfortable as well-worn denim.

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