Rotation

The Jayhawks were at their best on 1992's Hollywood Town Hall. The guitars were sharp, the words perfect and the melodies unforgettable. With Tomorrow the Green Grass, though, this year's version of the great country soul group is decidedly less filling, even when the taste is still pretty great. The addition of violins is a nice touch, but a misstep where the music's muscle is concerned. The guitars are still gorgeous, but muddier and less hook-laden than before. The lyrics still haunt, but they're more disjointed and less gripping this time around. And the melodies are both a blessing and a curse: catchier and chart-ready, but with a lot less meat on their bones. Call it cosmic American music in the sugary Milky Way galaxy. Or else just remember how much Gram Parsons always did look sort of like David Cassidy.

-- Roni Sarig

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