Friday, April 16, 2010

So Far (as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)

This compilation of material (5 songs from Deja Vu, 4 from Crosby, Stills & Nash, and 2 from a single) is a nice tribute to the enjoyable, pretty, pleasant dullness of the group's overall sound. The best non-Neil song not already on Deja Vu is beloved 7 1/2 minute classic "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes," and let's be honest with ourselves: even that song is about 6 1/2 minutes of likable blandness and one minute of an awesome finale. If you're looking for a CSN introduction, this is a better place to start than their self-titled album, although you're still better off with Deja Vu. It would be a much better compilation if they had included "Carry On," but you'll still enjoy it beginning to end. Well, except for the dry heaves you'll get from the lyrics to "Helplessly Hoping." ("They are 1 person/ they are 2 alone/they are 3 together/ they are 4 each other." Ick.)

The best reason to check this out is because it includes Neil's consummate protest anthem "Ohio." The problem with a lot of political music is that, for the same reason it seems timely and powerful and relevant when it first comes out, it seems dated and obsolete when heard way down the line. But "Ohio" is just so fucking awesome that you'll barely give this a thought; you'll be too busy pumping your fist in the air.

Rating: C +, I think a better song selection could have been made to highlight the group's unique talents.

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