Sunday, July 28, 2013

Graham Nash 3: Earth & Sky

The momentum that led up to 1977’s decent Crosby, Stills & Nash studio reunion didn’t carry over for Crosby, who was too wasted to create, or for Stills, who recorded despite himself. Graham Nash remained the sanest of the three, newly married and fathered, and worked on pet projects like fighting unsafe nuclear energy.
He also corralled various veterans of recent CSN-related bands to record Earth & Sky, an album that has all but vanished from the face of the planet save used record stores and YouTube. It’s not a horrible album, but’s it’s not very exciting either. Given the usual crew—David Lindley, Russ Kunkel, Craig Doerge, Joe Vitale, Danny Kortchmar—the music is typical Southern California via Miami; lots of Hawaiian shirts and Colombian sky candy. Crosby is credited but all but inaudible.
The title track is catchy, but “Love Has Come”, which follows, is practically identical. “Out On The Island” is a recasting of “Another Sleep Song” until the chorus. “Barrel Of Pain (Half-Life)” is a successful attempt to rock, and a surprising high point is “T.V. Guide”, with ambitious piano and dramatic strings, and less than two minutes. Elsewhere it’s sensitive songs about beautiful children, care for the environment, and misplace hope for the new decade. In other words, this is what people did between Jackson Browne albums.
One wants to like Earth & Sky on the sole basis that it’s not hideous, but it only provides more strength for the argument of CSN’s sum being greater than the parts. Yet at 35 minutes, this was Graham’s longest solo album yet.

Graham Nash Earth & Sky (1980)—

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