Monday, 25 August 2008
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Deja Vu Live" (2008) (News, Views and Music 1)
♫ AAA LATEST PURCHASE: “Let’s impeach the president for lying…” August/ September are set to see something of a CSN/Y re-birth this year. Prior to the release of the tour film-come-Bush-baiting-documentary DVD Déjà vu comes the soundtrack album released August 25th, chronicling CSNY’s ’Freedom Of Speech’ Tour of 2006(the soundtrack’s called Déjà vu Live just so you don’t confuse it with the quartet’s déjà vu album of 1970. As if you would!) This is a rather odd (not to say confusing) name to have picked, seeing as the album is all about contemporary politics with a number of old friends thrown into the mix just to show how little times and politics change and the bad news is that ithere are no new tracks, with no less than seven tracks first heard on Neil Young’s disappointingly raw and ragged Living With War album of 2006.
The good news is that only Teach Your Children has been released on a CSNY live album in the past (that’s right— amazingly the ever-present Wooden Ships wasn’t on the Four Way Street album!). The really good news are those CSNY harmonies, whilst equally raw and ragged as Neil’s album, make even those disappointing songs sound much better second time around. The confusing news is just what oldies are on this record—Album Archive Favourite Military Madness (see review no 46) I understand, old friends For What It’s Worth and Find The Cost Of Freedom could have been tailor-made for the anti-Iraq War sentiments but Teach Your Children, Wooden Ships and Déjà Vu itself have only vague links to the war concept and fill up holes where other politically-charged songs such as Ohio, Long Time Gone, Word Game, Grave Concern and even Campaigner could have slotted in. The verdict: CSNY were right to do this tour—and hearing songs like ‘Let’s Impeach The President’ is the most political this most socially conscious band of all have made in years (who said U2? Stop contaminating my site!) —but this live CD is either an hour too long or an hour too short depending on whether you like CSNY for themselves or purely for Neil Young who dominates this record.
Most loved moment: Neil’s angry but tuneful Living With War, too fast and flashy on his solo album but performed perfectly here, with CSN’s vocal support magical, moving band, audience and yours truly to tears. Most reviled moment: the ’wo-o-o-o-o-ah’ chorus stapled onto a wonky a capella rendition of
Crosby’s marvelous What Are Their Names? (see
review no 45), which turns one of the greatest and eeriest humanitarian
pleas/political sneers of all time into empty-headed Motown pop. The verdict is
out until the DVD release which, so I’ve heard, is miles better than this mixed
soundtrack but on this evidence it ain’t like the good old effortless days
quite yet, whatever that title of the CD. Star rating out of /10: ♫♫♫♫♫♫ (6)