David Crosby & Graham Nash - Crosby & Nash

David Crosby & Graham Nash
Crosby & Nash


First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2004, Volume 11, #9

Written by John Metzger


Not surprisingly, on their first album in 28 years, David Crosby and Graham Nash don’t come storming out of the gate screaming for one’s attention. In fact, it isn’t until the smoldering, blues-inflected groove of They Want It All — the collection’s 10th track — that the material on the duo’s new self-titled effort even begins to approach anything close to rousing rock ’n‘ roll. Then again, that has never been their modus operandi. Instead, they have a tendency towards exploring more fragile environments, and as a result, they deliver a set that is largely understated; one that stands as the ultimate antithesis to the current garage-punk revival. While bands within the latter genre fight indifference through the use of brute force, Crosby and Nash peddle jazz-inflected pop tunes that are quiet, gentle, and downright captivating, if only given a chance — though that admittedly is something of an uphill battle given the current state of mainstream radio.

Featuring 20 songs scattered across two discs, Crosby & Nash more than makes up for lost time, augmenting recent compositions penned in collaboration with the members of the pair’s latest ensemble with material that has floated through each artist’s repertoire over the course of the past decade. Although it’s not quite as magnificently cohesive as CPR’s Just Like Gravity, it’s still a far more satisfying effort than most of the additions to the catalogs of either Crosby or Nash since their 1976 outing with Stephen Stills on CSN. Pairing idealistic socio-political commentaries — such as Don’t Dig Here’s pointed condemnation of the plan to bury nuclear waste at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, They Want It All’s denunciation of corporate greed, and Half Your Angels’ tender, but haunting memorialization of the Oklahoma City bombing — with nearly wordless expositions (How Does It Shine?) and sweetly optimistic ballads (Milky Way Tonight and Shining on Your Dreams), the collection touches upon the entirety of the duo’s careers (whether alone or together), visiting with Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name one minute and Nash’s Songs for Survivors the next.

With indelible melodies that stir emotions, poignantly poetic lyrics that resonate with relevance, and tight-knit harmonies that are strikingly beautiful, Crosby & Nash glides and soars with a profound radiance that shines as a bright beacon of light and hope through these darkest of times. While the album isn’t the pinnacle of perfection within the duo’s catalog, it’s a welcome addition, indeed. starstarstar ½

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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2004 The Music Box