Smile

Smile

Score

...it seems like there's something deeply selfish underpinning [B]The Jayhawks[/B]' new approach.

Vulture culture has its pitfalls too. Constantly circling your prey, looking for an angle of entry or the chinks in the sheen through which you can crawl inside, it’s an unnerving experience when you find there’s no way in.

‘Smile’ is the sixth album by the Minneapolis band whose earliest works have a reasonable case for being the first alt-country records. The trace elements of British invasion pop, [a]Big Star[/a] and the lonesome call of the bayou are still present in The Jayhawks‘ sound, but ‘Smile’ states its intentions not to be alt-anything with each confident chord.

If you’re looking for something to have an intellectual wrestle with, you’ll find that The Jayhawks give in without a fight. Gary Louris has set out to reinvent his band as a radio-ready hit machine, and in the elegantly constructed ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ and ‘(In My) Wildest Dreams’, they may have made their first confident strides in that direction.

‘Smile’ has a business-like approach to music; it does what it’s contractually obliged to do then walks out abruptly whenever you try to talk about commitment. As sweet as it often is on the surface, it seems like there’s something deeply selfish underpinning The Jayhawks‘ new approach.

“I’ll never be/All you want me to be/But that’s all right”, coos Louris on ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’. All right for who, exactly?