Album Reviews

The Jayhawks

Paging Mr. Proust

Artist:     The Jayhawks

Album:     Paging Mr. Proust

Label:     Thirty Tigers

Release Date:     04/29/2016


The Jayhawks’ 9th studio album, and first in five years, Paging Mr. Proust, gives long-time listeners 11 new tracks of the signature Jayhawks sound blended with new twists and turns to always keep fans on their toes. With the recent return of Gary Louris (lead vocals/guitar) and a lineup that includes Marc Perlman (bass), Tim O’Reagan (drums/vocals), Karen Grotberg (keyboards/vocals) and Kraig Johnson (guitar), Paging Mr. Proust could very well be considered one of the Jayhawks’ best.

The solid songs complete with genre-crossing elements were co-produced by Louris, REM’s Peter Buck, and Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket). Standout tracks include the first track/first single “Quiet Corners and Empty Spaces”, “Lies in Black and White”, and “Leaving the Monsters Behind”.

The evolution of the Jayhawks is what makes them so impressive. The band came out of Minneapolis in the 1980s and has seen quite a few lineup changes since then. However, thirty years later, Paging Mr. Proust brings together some of the band’s most celebrated members and the music is different- in a good way. While most bands with such a long career would try to stick to what works best and what the fans love, the Jayhawks stray away from routine (“Ace” is a good example). They recognize their history and who they are as a band, but the music is always fresh and crowd pleasing.

-Brenda Hillegas

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