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Classic Album Review: Graham Nash | Songs for Survivors

The '60s icon's first LP in years is a disappointing set of samey-sounding folk-pop.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Way back in 1971, Graham Nash titled his first solo album Songs for Beginners. Now, after enduring everything from broken legs (in a 1999 boating accident) to the repeated breakups of CSNY over the decades, Nash has every right to call himself a survivor.

But on Songs For Survivors — his first solo album in six years — the ’60s icon sounds less like a guy who’s been hanging in there (a la Neil Young) and more like a guy who’s just been hanging around (a la David Crosby). Weighted down with moody melodies and mellow grooves, this set of gentle, low-key folk-pop ballads are disappointingly bland and samey-sounding. The nostalgic lyrics of tracks like Lost Another One (about the death of an unnamed musician friend) and Chelsea Hotel only add to the sense that Nash is poring over his scrapbooks instead of planning his next move. Graham — you of all people should know it’s not how long you live, it’s how well you live that counts.

 

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