The Jayhawks were the most pop-wise band in alternative country — riding the rapture for 1992's Hollywood Town Hall (also just reissued) — when they made this masterful 1995 union of wood-smoke aura and Beatlesque glow. "Blue" was exactly how Gram Parsons and Elton John would have sounded in the same song. "Pray for Me" was thoroughly modern Byrds, and "Real Light" was top prairie-garage action. A CD of acoustic demos emphasizes the crossed-blade harmonies of writer-guitarists Mark Olson and Gary Louris — a dream team sundered when Olson quit in 1995, stranding his group in what-might-have-been land.
From The Archives Issue 1122: January 20, 2011