Customer Review

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prodigal son returns in style, 27 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Croz (Audio CD)
What a relief! The comeback of a musician I have always admired after 20 years, much of them spent in turmoil and rehab, could have been dreadful but I think this is a really good album. It's taken quite a few listens to settle in, but I'd expect that from David Crosby - you don't turn to his music for undemanding comfort food.

It's sobering to realise that it's nearly 45 years since I first heard Guinevere and Wooden Ships, because after all those years they are still among my favourite tracks ever. Those elements which made Crosby's music so brilliant and distinctive back then are still evident in many places on this quite varied album: the modal, broken guitar chords in untypical sequences, the meandering almost recitative-like interludes and the great, often beautiful, often thrillingly singable passages all feature strongly. It doesn't always work for me here (as it didn't always then), but for the great majority of this album it works really well.

There's quite an introspective air over the album. The feel of the tracks varies from the harmonically rich and fairly jazzy like the opener What's Broken and Set That Baggage Down through the quite beat-driven (like The Clearing) to the spare and quite amazing If She Called, a song about the emotional turmoil of a prostitute. The lyrics are diverse and generally very good, often reflecting on the vicissitudes of life and moving on from damage and pain. You know, too, that when he sings "I'm a troubled soul searching for peace in the night," in the lovely Dangerous Night, for example, it comes from deep experience and is a lot more than just another song lyric.

The songs are often set in quite CSN&Y-ish harmonies, which is just fine by me, because all those groups who have been compared to them over the last few years haven't really sounded like them, and it's great to hear that sound again - sounding fresh and alive, too. Guest appearances by Mark Knopfler and the great Wynton Marsalis are both excellent, and Crosby's own singing and guitar work are still very fine.

The album has its less good spots. For example, Time I Have is a fine track, but begins:
"People do so many things that make me mad,
But angry at how I want to spend the time I have;
Cognitive dissonance they call it
And I wonder just how small it
Could be made to be
In me."
It's really not David Crosby's finest lyrical hour, however important and heartfelt what he's trying to say. These moments are few and brief, though, and I think this album has real quality.

If Croz made this album to prove that he's still got it, then I think he has succeeded spectacularly. Old fans like me should be well satisfied - a genuine Prodigal Son has returned and I hope he'll stay to produce more like this. Warmly recommended.

(I can't eat all this fatted calf on my own, by the way. Would anyone care for a slice?)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jan 2014 10:39:21 GMT
Good review - what pity he's been lost for so long - 68-75 he wrote some great songs
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Sid Nuncius
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