Crosby, Stills Nash and Young came together in 1969 each of the members of this new harmony infused group had previous experiences in other popular bands, David Crosby had been kicked out of The Byrds Graham Nash had been ousted out of the Hollies for butting heads with Hollies lead singer Alan Clarke, Stephen Stills and Neil Young came from the dissolution of Buffalo Springfield. Out of all these breakups came one of the most potent supergroups of the early seventies who recorded one of the most anticipated sophmore albums of all time. The album called Dejavu is a strange mix of pschydelic sounds, catchy country rock , and ear shattering hard along with softer more melodic rock. The album also has a theme of optimism as well as a need for social revolution a notion that was prevalent in the latter half of the sixties and was carried over into the seventies by artist such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and of course the band whom I am referring to right now Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
1. Carry On- Melodic four part harmonies " carry" ( pardon the pun) this song about learning to cope with the hardships of life and learning to see past your self imposed prejudices of people and love everybody for who they are . The pschydelic guitar and bouncing rhythm section of this song make it an instant " Hippified" classic . 5/5.
2. Teach your Children- We have reached a shift my friends! I don't mean a shift in the message just a shift in the music. Teach your Children sounds like a song that should be song by a country group at the Grand Ole Opry. The message of teaching your children so that your children will not make the same mistakes as you is an enlightening and useful message. The ironic touch of the group adding " Teach your parents well." is a good change of pace . 4/5.
3. Almost Cut my hair- Loud roaring guitars, Neil Young's disonant voice, guiding your ears to a story of how a young man " almost" cuts his hair but decides not to. I guess the song is somehow intewined with some hedonistic hippie hypocritical ideology that suggest if they were going to cut off their hair they would lose sight of their " trippy " " Flower Child" identity. Other than that Young just whines on for the entire song. 3/5.
4. Helpless- Great piano and steel guitar opening. This song is also included on Neil Young's greatest hit's album ( Just if you wanted to know.) To me this song is about a young man who is alienated from the rest of the world and searching for answers that he knows that he will never find. Young's voice is not dissonant this time but more mournful as if Young is wishing he were back in his home town of Ontario but " helpless" as to how he can turn back the hands of time. The harmonies added by the rest of the group make this song a classic . 5/5.
5. Woodstock- Pulsating electric guitars, thundering drums, perfect three part harmonies all telling a story of a group searching to get back to the " Garden."Funny how a Joni Mitchell song could make an unknown group of folkies into superstars. 5/5.
6. Deja Vu'- Medieveal sounding " Da, Da Da's" CSN&Y do a great job with the accoustic guitars. Young's voice sound confused and befuddled which is appropriate since this song and " Carry On" are both political songs that question authority and the path that the leaders of the world are choosing. " We have all been here before " gives great substince to this song the harmonies are amazing. Good song. 4.
7. Our House- Sappy, I ain't gonna lie to you the song is catchy but on the other hand it makes you want to fall asleep. Like all the latter half of the tracks of this album the harmonies are ethereal but this song is just " Saptastic" but beware sappy songs will get stuck in your head. 3.
8. 4+20- A bluesy accoustic song by Stephen Stills. Still's voice is a mix of melodic melody this song is a song about how Still's father " worked like a devil" to give his son the best life possible. Still's also talks about " missin' my woman, wondering where did she go?" The line " A different kind of poverty now upsets me so." emphasizes Still's passion to make a better life for himself. 4.
9. Country Girl- A weird , strange, song that has the line " to late to keep the change" , " to late to pay." I think this song is about not being able to change the particular situation you are in. Melodic even though Young still employs his languid voice to the accompainment of textured drums and guitars. " Find out that now was the answer to answers," is the most perplexing confusing lyric I have heard in a while. Other than that I have no idea what they are talking about. All in all a good song. 3.
10. Everybody I love you- Classic CSN&Y harmonies a rockin' guitar sound with the catchy line " Open up open up baby let me in!" A jubilant joyful anthem of peace love and understanding that any former hippie will love. The way the group plays it is strange because they make it sound like a gospel song. 4/5.
I believe I know why the album is called Deja vu'. You may think that I am suggesting the single entitled " Deja vu'" and yes while the line in that particular song goes" we have all been here before" it is not the line that I am referring to in this instant but rather the theme. I believe the theme of this album is trying to convey is that no matter how far we get as a society we will always wonder " Have I been here before?" This album through its repetive nature does a great job at making us feel like we are doing the same things all over again day after day going through the motions and not knowing what in the world to do differently. All in all a good album.