By now Neil fans were used to one new album, more or less, per year. We thought we were getting a bonus when David Crosby stopped doing drugs and Neil made good on his promise that then and only then would he do another CSNY album.
He really shouldn’t have. Really.
American Dream is a big step back from the strides Neil had made of late, and his presence and encouragement doesn’t seem to inspire the other three any. (Essentially, Stills is even more of an a-hole, Nash is busy crying about the environment or how great his marriage is, and Crosby’s just glad to be alive.) The title track has a silly synth flute line with a sillier video. As bad as it is, it’s one of the better songs on the album. But it’s not as good as “This Old House”, which came out of the Farm Aid mindset and would probably have been received better had it come out in the context of his 1992 project, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. “Name Of Love” is terrible, but better than “Feel Your Love”. “Driving Thunder” is another collaboration in credits only with Stills. “Night Song” is the most welcome song here, as it’s the last one in a program over an hour long. It would turn up again on his next album, but rewritten.
Basically he let them use his ranch, threw ‘em a bone in the studio and ended up with the bare minimum. If we really expected a miracle, we were only kidding ourselves.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young American Dream (1988)—1½