This is a frustrating CD. I've owned it for the better part of a decade and I like it. But it actually doesn't wind up in my CD player all that often.
Why? Because it _should_ have been the album that fans of Stephen Stills's acoustic music had been waiting for. And it isn't.
It falls flat -- not because Stills himself does anything less than a terrific job, but because somebody got the bright idea of recording him on an 'electrified' acoustic guitar (using what sounds like a low-end piezoelectric pickup). In short, the production here is terrible.
The result is a twangy, clickety-clacky guitar sound that doesn't even remotely resemble the angry growl Stills used to coax out of his Martin dreadnoughts on the best of his old acoustic tunes. 'Treetop Flyer' is one of the coolest songs Stills has ever written. But the guitar part, instead of revisiting the territory of 'Black Queen', sounds like something recorded in some teenager's garage.
Ah, well. Most of the music is good. Stills covers 'Everybody's Talkin'' (by his old pal Fred Neil), the Beatles' 'In My Life', and Dylan's 'Ballad of Hollis Brown', and revisits a handful of tunes from his first two solo albums. There are some new (as of 1991, that is) tunes, including the aforementioned 'Treetop Flyer' and 'Isn't It So' (which wound up as the theme song for the short-lived television series _Second Noah_). All of it works pretty well. (The exception is 'Amazonia', which tacks a mediocre lyric over the chord progression from Stills's 'Fair Game' and some sort of electronic percussion track.)
But you have to be able to stand the sound. I think Stills is a decent guitar player and I like to listen to him when he cuts loose. But I sure do wish somebody had done a better job recording him here. This could have been a great album, and instead it's only pretty good.
This CD isn't _just_ for Stills fans, but if you haven't heard Stills's solo work before, don't start here.