The Jayhawks


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One sure-fire way to assess the strength of an LP is by sampling its leftovers, and judging by Scrapple, the Jayhawks' Hollywood Town Hall is the unequivocal masterpiece it's always seemed to be in its official release. The three unreleased cuts that comprise the bulk of this promotional disc hail from the same sessions, and certainly deserve a better fate than appearing as throwaways on record label swag -- that they didn't pass muster is perhaps the ultimate tribute to Hollywood Town Hall's overall quality and cohesiveness. "Leave No Gold" is particularly effective as a showcase for Gary Louris' scorching guitar leads, while the gospel-inspired "Up Above My Head" is a stellar vehicle for Louris and Mark Olson's beautiful harmonies. Only the jaunty "Keith and Quentin" feels slight, even as it evokes small-town Americana with painterly grace.