Saturday, September 28, 2013

Graham Nash 4: Innocent Eyes

Graham was so starved for collaboration in the mid-‘80s that he participated in a Hollies reunion, then defied all the lessons he should have learned from Stephen Stills’ recent monstrosity. The cover of Innocent Eyes may have qualified as cutting-edge computer graphics in 1986, but now it’s just a blurry mess. Speaking of which…
Take away his voice and every track sounds like it was written and recorded for an action/comedy movie soundtrack, probably on MCA. There are guitars, but they’re fighting for space with the Yamaha DX7s and Linn drums. You can hear that third world conch blowing sound that was all the rage, best associated with the opening seconds of “Sledgehammer”. And when there’s a deviation in rhythm, he relies on reggae. (Beats Latin, but still.)
There is no point in doing a track-by-track rundown, since they’re all fairly hideous. He went on the record to say that the sound was his own doing, that he hadn’t been coerced by anything other than his own desire to stay contemporary and rely on other songwriters for help. For the most part, the lyrics don’t say anything particularly profound, though “Chippin’ Away” would be revived by CSN when the Berlin Wall came down. “Glass And Steel” is a welcome departure in tempo and content, another song written in sympathy for David Crosby’s struggles of the time.
Then “I Got A Rock” steps all over everything, and we’re reminded how bad Innocent Eyes is. As ever, stripped-down arrangements might help illuminate whatever assets are in the tunes, but why bother?

Graham Nash Innocent Eyes (1986)—

1 comment:

  1. I got this for 49 cents. I played it and promptly shattered it against the wall.