12 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

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Ratings and Reviews

Shakza ,

David Crosby Revitalized

The late seventies/early eighties were a rough time for David, but he managed to kick several bad habits in the late eighties to return to making the vaguely spiritual, acoustic, earthly yet spaced-out ballads that enamored the generation of the Summer of Love. Part of that revitalization was connecting with his long-lost son, James Raymond, who had grown up to become a jazz pianist of moderate acclaim in his own right. After David heard an early demo in the passenger seat of James' car of Morrison (because that was the best sound system James had access to at the time), he teamed up with his son and guitarist Jeff Pevar to form C P R (Crosby, Pevar and Raymond, respectively).

While their first outing was a little staid due to the group getting used to each other and figuring out their capabilities, this album was where the group clicked. Here, the promise shown in that early demo of Morrison shines and glitters in beautiful melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. Map to Buried Treasure has an exuberance unmatched in David's work since the Byrds way back in the sixties. Breathless is a group effort that sparkles with the beautifully awkward, and thus beautifully human, intricacies of new romance found in the physical connection of dancing. I want to play this song at my future wedding, it's that good. Much like David's past work, there is a lingering sense of pain and fear from past wrongs, which prevents the material from getting too sappy, brought to the fore in the stark ballad Darkness, a song that is obviously about David's experiences going through rehab for years. Jerusalem presents a 'what if?' scenario: what if someone alive during the time of Jesus Christ came back to modern-day Jerusalem? How would they react? What would they say or think? It's a potent reflection on how far humanity has come, and how much further they still have to go. Just Like Gravity is a clear throwback to the Drop D acoustic guitar style David made famous on songs like Guinnevere on CSN's first album and the majority of his seventies solo album, and it perfectly closes off this overlooked gem in his catalog.

Granted, not all the songs are as strong as these highlights, although none falter, and if you are not already a fan of David's music, some of the more esoteric elements may catch you off guard and put you off the album. It is also prudent to note that none of this music sounds like anything on the radio today (except maybe Hozier's 'Take Me To Church'), so if your tastes are not broad enough, the album will sound 'old/retro/antiquated/etc.' despite the professional quality on display. Despite this, the clear craftsmanship and clarity of purpose this music is imbued with make this album well worth a purchase. Buy it, and relive, or experience for the first time, an old pro excited about making new music with new friends.

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