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Ready For the Flood – Gary Louris and Mark Olson

New West
Ready for the Flood, the new release by Jayhawks alums Gary Louris and Mark Olson, is a laid-back, mellow, satisfying affair that will gratify their aging fan base of hippie chicks who went to state colleges in the early ’90s. At times, their vocal harmonies are beautiful, but on tracks like My Gospel Song for You and Black Eyes, a tinge of Burger Kings shroom and Swiss commercial can be heard. One half expects them to sing, You bought her playoff tickets for an anniversary gift. If love is a game, youre a loser so take cover with shroom and Swiss. The entire album has a feel of two old friends sitting around making music with each other. This casualness is strength, but casual can easily become unpolished. Sample this line from Bicycle: Its hard to ride at night on your bicycle with no lights to guide. While this may be an empirically verifiable statement, and their made-for-each-other voices radiate serenity, as poetry, it doesnt quite resonate.
But there are quite a few tracks ripe and ready for the mellow moments of your Party Mix 09. Bloody Hands is such a treat with its happy country feel and tasty mandolin part one begins to wonder why it wasnt placed earlier in the album. Immediately following it is Lifes Warm Sheets, which finds the duo on the right side of the shroom and Swiss, Simon and Garfunkel divide. A lullaby for the working man, the track is a worthy set up for the albums closer, The Traps Been Set, on which they ponder old age and power of memories. All and all it is a fitting album for the late and slow part of your evening, or for sharing a bottle of chardonnay and a joint with your old dorm girlfriends.

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