I do not know the reasons for the horrendous title XOXO, one of the already expired and stupid ways of saying the word Kisses, born with the irrational use of text messages. An unfortunate title that at least serves as a wake-up call regarding the content of THE JAYHAWKS ‘new work, since the band’s most choral record is a rather pointless and mellifluous work.

Each of its members have taken the clichés of their musical influences in the composition of themes out of the top hat without there being anything especially remarkable nor anything abhorrent by the way. XOXO is like driving an autopilot vehicle on an unobstructed road, where the kilometers go by without anything that startles, hits, or excites you, you just let yourself go because everything happens without excitement. And all this despite the fact that «This Forgotten Town », its initial single, is an appetizing tune in the purest classic style of the band that, without being the most distinguished of their work, at least the traditional exchange of voices Louris and Pearlman gives luster. “Dogtown Boys”, the rocker song by O’Reagan, tries to imitate Petty’s sound without his genius keeping the type. From here the downhill begins with “Living In The Bubble”, the first song that Louris signs alone, which is nothing more than a piano theme. Grotberg’s two songs, “Ruby” and “Across My Field” are two soulless and totally expendable ballads also marked by the piano. “Homecoming”, the other by Louris, with psychedelic roots taken from the English sixties, is predictable and satiety-long, a problem that “Illuminate” accuses. If the two aforementioned themes recalled the Fab Four and substitutes with “Little Victories” lead us to the CSNY and sounds of the West Coast in a simply correct way, than in “Bitter Pill”, at least thanks to the vocal and mandolin harmonies They make you open your pupils even for a short time, since “Down To The Farm” and “Looking Up Your Number”, two acoustic songs are sedative and insubstantial.

This is the original album, although there is an edition with some bonus tracks that are only recommended for very followers of the band, since they are ineffective for your eyelids to rise and we refer to «Then You Walk Away», «Jewel Of The Trimbelle ”and“ Hypocrite’s Lament ”.

Is it a bad record? , NO; Is it a good album? Well, in my opinion, neither … so what is it? … Well, an album without too much in particular, which means that it is a symptom of a work by a declining band that tries to go through the times as well as possible. Simply listenable which saddens me to say since I would love to say something else.

THE JAYHAWKS – XOXO

2020-07-10

6.5 Final Note

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