mmmmmm mmmmmm good.......
that's all i'm saying....
...no, just kidding. i know you'd all KILL me if that's all i said....
okay, track by track... here's my OPINION...
can't wait till i can actually have a copy TO KEEP... i had to give this back as it was the only one available on the east coast, but to hear it was just heaven....
to everyone out there: BUY THIS RECORD! YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!!
. . . . . darkstar
Pizza-man's Extended Preview
October 1, 1999
The overall impression: "DAMN... THIS IS VERY GOOD!"
Questions and answers:
Okay, now on to the songs...
- “Better than Déjà Vu?”
- Come on, friends, ARE YOU KIDDIN’?
- “Better than Live It Up?”
- Come on, friends, ARE YOU KIDDIN’? (lol)
- “Better than CPR?”
- A completely different thing -- this is CSNY!
- “Better than After The Storm?”
- Way much better... Here they have songs that everyone here will love!
- “The guys are still rockin’?”
- Only when they have to.
- “The guys are still having fun?”
- Yes, absolutely.
- “The guys are still able to sing?”
- ARE YOU FU%#IN’ KIDDIN’?
- “The guys are still able to send chills down your skin?”
- OH, YES THEY CAN!
- “The guys will conquer the charts”?
- Forget it.
- “CSNY are still the best band around?”
- Yes, at least in the "Heart"land (the only country that matters).
- “Is Crosby OK?”
- Oh yes... Thank God he is... but we already knew this (see CPR for details...)
- “Is Stills OK?”
- Oh yes... Listen to his songs & his guitar playing. In about the last 20 years he hasn’t rocked this good.
- “Is Nash OK?”
- Well... Maybe you should ask his doctor (get well soon Graham!)
- “Is Young OK?”
- Oh yes... He’s indestructible. (But Neil, we still need your solo album, and the archives too!!!!!!).
Faith In Me [Stills]
Very uplifting cuban driven tune. A lot of percussion (very upfront in the mix), nice harmonies, and Neil’s electric Gibson crying in the background. Towards the end there’s a nice break of percussions & vocals only. Maybe not the best latin-influenced song Steve has ever written, but it’s a nice opening tune.
Looking Forward [Young]
Wonderful acoustic ballad with two marvellous twisted fingerpicking guitars (Steve & Neil, I assume) and all sung by Neil with David & Graham’s beautiful harmonies. It is performed in a very relaxed way (I mean in the spirit, it’s not at all a lazy performance), with a little country & western flavour. VERY GOOD.
Stand & Be Counted [Crosby]
I CAN BET Neil & Steve surely DO TRADE LICKS on this one! It’s very edgy & rock&rolling with those two rough electric guitars (Neil & Steve for sure) trading riffs (à la Ohio), and Crosby is still saying the things we all want to hear from him (is he STILL the political voice/conscience of the foursome?!?!). A good social song in the tradition of Long Time Gone, Nighttime For The Generals, etc. (Well, you know, the times they are a-changin’...)
The song was good (as we knew from its previous live “on stage” versions), but this arrangement adds a very special magic to it. If you listen closely to the beautiful riffs of the two electric guitars on the left & right channels (Neil & Steve, I swear) you’ll discover (once again) how beautiful this song turns out to be. The chorus is very “hymn-like” (reminds me somewhat of Soldier Of Peace, but it’s totally different). Nash sings the whole tune beautifully. (It makes me want EVEN MORE a Graham solo album in the next few weeks... Please!)
Seen Enough [Stills & “his Bobness”]
This is a great surprise: Stephen sings in a very “talking blues” manner. The melody is slower, but very reminiscent of Subterranean Homesick Blues. And then the harmonies spread over a very catchy chorus about having “seen enough” weird things in life (Stephen’s, of course.) I like it very much... And maybe the American kids will even listen to it... In the end we can hear Steve’s magic fingers running upon the neck of his Martin like he used to do (for example, in Black Queen).
Imagine an intro that sounds somewhere between Neil’s Heart Of Gold and his Peace Of Mind. Imagine Neil singing (and playing harmonica) in a way that breaks your heart into a thousand little pieces. Imagine CSN doing a harmony that sends you straight to heaven. Well they have done it before, as we all know. But imagine that CSNY can do it again after 30 years... Well, this is pure magic... Thank you Neil for having written another masterpiece. Thank you CSN for having make it even better.
Dream For Him [Crosby]
I was a little disappointed by the rendition of this tune in the CPR – Live At The Wiltern set, but here is way much better: a little up-tempo, a little more jazzy & tight. Sounds like the beautiful “weird stuff” written by Crosby for CSN(&Y) over the years. Is this James Raymond on the piano? Lovely jazzy electric guitars in the background and at the end. In my own opinion, I think the contribution (in terms of number & quality of songs) by Dave for this album is a little too sparse. But in CSNY it's always been this way. (However with all that wonderful CPR stuff we’re getting these days, we can’t complain...)
No Tears Left [Stills]
Very powerful and, to my ears, a little over-produced. The song is not a masterpiece, BUT Stills still plays that electric guitar like a demon. He’s still a firey guitar player -- it's been at least 20 years since I've heard him playing electric like that. Maybe now the youngsters will recognise the HUGE Hendrix influence on him. (Stephen, when are you going to release those jam session with Jimi???). Then when Neil joins in with his long stretched notes you can feel them having a good time... This is the kind of stuff I can’t wait to listen to in concert. But honestly, it won’t be a breakthrough single.
Out Of Control [Young]
One of those Neil piano ballads (do you remember Someday or We Never Danced?) that aren’t memorable, but only "good". It’s a pretty little song and the CSN harmonies make it better. But definitely not their best. It would have fit on American Dream.
Someday Soon [Nash]
Three acoustic guitars, a little touch of drums, a nice tune, the voices we all know, and something magic happens again. It’s not a masterpiece, but a very enjoyable tune. It’s the typical optimistic Nash ballad that makes you sway & smile and think that the world will be a better place if you only want it. After the song is over you feel like an idiot to have had thoughts like that. Lovely.
Queen Of Them All [Young]
Very strange Neil tune that to me seems out of place on this album. It’s electric and very percussive, and has an unusual musical structure. Reminds me of something from the Landing On Water album without the electronics. I’ve never heard a Neil song that sounds like this. It’s not a bad tune, but maybe has a bad mix (or maybe it's my tape...) I'll probably appreciate it more after multiple listens.
Sanibel [contributed by Nash]
Acoustic, with a gorgeous interplay of guitars and a wonderful chorus. Graham sings the first verse, Neil the second. All together in the chorus for a song about the ocean that, when it’s over, leaves me wanting more.
Recently Nash has said that CSNY recorded 22 songs for this project, so there is another album already made that was left in the can. Please....!
When you listen to Looking Forward you’ll feel deep in your bones and in your heart that you won’t be able to wait another 11 years for another CSNY release...
Clap, clap, clap... more... more... MORE!!!!!!!!!
I’ll always love these guys...
The Pizza-man (looking forward to seeing them in Europe!!!!)
The Belgian Bad Boy Of Rock's Review
posted to The Rust List on October 23, 1999
Yesterday (Friday) someone on Rust told us that Looking Forward was already available in the shops in Holland, so I figured that in Belgium the CDs would also be in the stores... But the fact that it was 10:30 PM when I read this message prevented me from running out of my house, straight to the CD-store.
I had a very uneasy night, dreaming of close harmonies and stuff (No need explaining this, Starz). When I got up, there was only thing I could think of... I ate my breakfast as fast as I could and headed in the direction of the CD-store. (Don't be afraid, I got dressed first).
So at 10 o'clock this Saturday-morning I owned my very own copy of Looking Forward...
Of course I immediately ran back home again to give the album a first listen. And waaaaaaaw, my ears didn't understand what was happening. After that first listen I programmed only the Neil-songs, and I was even more surprised --- This is not only a great CSNY album, but a superb "Y" album as well... (I also listened to the other versions of the Neil songs I have from the 99 acoustic tour...)
The album has been playing on and on this morning and now (a quarter past two PM) I'm still listening to the album ----- And I'm happy to say that it's one of those albums that keeps on getting better the more you play it....
What I'm going to write now is my full opinion about the songs, so if you haven't heard the album before, this could be a spoiler --- So:
WARNING ___ POSSIBLE SPOILER..................
First of all I have to say that the whole album is fantastic in itself.... The close harmonies make me think of Déjà Vu, and the album has a nice, warm glow to it. (When it's cold outside, this can be very nice)... Unlike American Dream, this is an album made by a band with 4 members, not an album with songs from 4 different people...
Faith In Me by Stephen Stills is a fairly good opener, although the Lion King-level often goes up pretty high... It's not the best song of the album, but it's a nice enough track.
Looking Forward by old Neiler, is the song that we already know from the last solo-tour. But the additional vocals by the 2 Big guys and the Broken Leg guy really upgrade the song... It already was a nice soft song with a melody like a mountain river, but the CSN-factor is very important here.
Stand And Be Counted is the kind of song that we are used to hearing from Croz, but I personaaly think that this is one of his better tracks with CSN&Y. Again the close harmonies with the 3 other boys singing are fantastic. Great guitar-work by Neil and Stephen too.
After seeing some negative chat about Graham Nash, I was afraid that Heartland would be real bad, but it actually isn't. You won't hear me say that this is the best song on LF, but it's a fairly good song with very good vocals.
Seen Enough by Stills really sounds like Subterranean Homesick Blues by Dylan. This song is one of the best non-Neil songs on the album. This is Déjà Vu-era all over again, but with contemporary lyrics.
"They don't know shit
Stay in the limelight
Got your own website"
Slowpoke we already knew, but this version is really good (again the close harmonies are superb). Man this song sounds like Heart of Gold.
Dream For Him is a Crosby song with excellent lyrics... It's a theme that comes up on Rust very often: How do you explain things like drugs, war, death, etc to (your) children --- Do you have to not tell them --- Lie to them? Teach your children well.... Great lyrics + Great voice(s)!
"You see, I want a world where I can tell him the truth
About everything from Jesus to John Wilkes Booth
How they lie in the house and in the senate too"
Out Of Control is the best song on LF, IMHO. The lyrics are great, Neil's voice is just haunting, the close harmonies are perfectly balanced... This could be a song from Sleeps With Angels. Neil plays acoustic guitar and something called TIPLE --- Could anyone tell me what this is please? Ben Keith's Pedal Steel is very good as well.
Someday Soon by Nash is a song that I like a lot... It makes me think of Our House... This sounds like it's a lost track from Déjà Vu... Again the voices: waaaaaaw!
Queen Of Them All is a very funny song by Percy Young... When he sings the chorus you would swear that he sings Queen of The Mall... Neil also plays an instrument that we're not used to hearing from him: something called "celeste"... This probably is a sort of Xylophone as that is what I keep hearing throughout the song. I really can't imagine Neil hitting that xylophone like a little child! Some people will hate this as much as the Long May You Run pump organ. Strangely this song sometimes makes me think of Barstool Blues... Play the two songs after each other and you'll hear what I mean.
The last song is Sanibel by Denny Sarokin... To me this is one of the best songs on the album... (#1 is Out of Control, #2 is Looking Forward, #3 is Sanibel, #4 is Queen of Them All, and #5 is Slowpoke)... Throughout this review you must have understood that I'm a sucker for those close harmonies... Well here they are really really really good --- Déjà Vu-like..... And the best thing is that they each sing a verse on their own (Well, I think so, I didn't listen close enough to hear who all is singing....) Nash sings, then Neil, then Stills, then ??? It's a wonderful slow song....
Good news for Rustie Steven Across The Ocean Vincken: In the song Sanibel there's a line that goes: "She looks across the ocean / At sails in motion." The only pity is that Neil's verse has just ended when these lyrics come up.... But at least your handle is now Neil-related...
I don't hear them singing "She looks at the Belgian Bad Boy Of Rock...." in there anywhere, though. Well you never know what's going to happen... Maybe TBBBOR is a good title for a future Nash-ballad? :-)
Keep on Rockin'
Bregt Depreeuw aka The Belgian Bad Boy of Rock
Hang The DJ's Review: "A-"
posted to The Rust List on October 26, 1999
Wow, whadda record...
I've listened to this puppy twice so far, and it got better the second time. So let's run thru it!
Of course, the hero of the record. Just as I predicted, Looking Forward works perfect with CSNY. I really love the duel acoustics of Neil and Stephen. Slowpoke is PERFECT!! It starts just like the live ones, but when the chorus comes up, watch out. Beautiful. That is the reason why these guys sing together. Out Of Control is no where near as emotional as the live versions of the past tour, but, it's still nice. The harmonies, once again, do not overshadow the song. I think my biggest disappointment was the fact that 1) Neil didn't play piano on the song, and 2) no harmonica. The pedal steel doesn't work, but it's cool. Queen of Them All... it should have been on Landing On Water! Even though Neil rehashes the lyric from Hard Luck Stories "(good...knock on wood)" it's a fun song and will be blast live.
Really, besides Neil, the highpoint of the record. Both of his songs shine like nothing he's done since Déjà Vu and Almost Cut My Hair. Stand And Be Counted is my favorite from Croz. What great lyrics. Plus the dueling guitars of Neil and Stills. And then Dream For Him. What a beautiful song about trying to keep children innocent. Dream For Him is kind of like that web site that rates albums for parents... you don't want your kid to be knocked out by bad stuff in the world, but they have to understand that it goes on. Croz hits the nail on the head.
He doesn't look like the real Stills, but hell, he still sounds like him, and plays guitar just like the old days. Let's see... Seen Enough. Yes, I do hear that Zimmerman influence. If I was Stills though, I would have dropped one verse, it kind of drags on and on. But, the arrangement is sparse and cool, with Neil on electric and Stills on acoustic, with some drums, and bass. No Tears Left is an excellent blues/rock type deal, with some more Young/Stills jamming. You gotta love Neil in the back with his "It's my life, it's my life" part. Faith In Me is the reggae influence opening song, and it starts off the record right. Even made me wanna boogie.
Unfortuantly, Graham doesn't shine. Heartland is somewhat decent, courtesy of Neil's screaming guitar licks in the background. Someday Soon is the least memorable song on the record. Not terrible, but nothing that made me jump up and listen, like the Crosby tracks. But the harmonies are all Graham, so you gotta give him credit for that!
What's the history on this song? CSNY don't contribute anything to it besides the vocals. But a nice duet between Graham and Neil nevertheless. It ends the album on a nice note, although I think one more would have been cool.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Nice singing and playing from everyone, although the songwriting (in general, the lyrics) from everyone isn't at it's best. But a nice record. One highpoint for me was how great the drums sound on this record. They're not really stiff like on Harvest Moon, more live sounding like on Harvest. Which means, judging from the Neil tracks, the next solo record will be more loose and live than Harvest Moon was, which will be a good thing. The tour will be great, and these songs are gonna be really cool live, especially Queen Of Them All, No Tears Left, and Stand And Be Counted.
So buy it, you won't be disappointed.
Hang The DJ
PS--> does anyone else think that the liner notes are a joke on us? C'mon, "October 2, 1998, 6:01 pm." Gimme a break, Neil was just trying to get us with that... ;-)