The nice folks at BMG have given in to whoever was demanding the re-issue of CPR's back catalogue with cd re-issues of the bands two studio albums and making the 2 live albums available for download for anyone who can't get enough of David Crosby, Jeff Pevar and James Raymond work from 1996 to 2001. This debut album originally came out in 1998 and sank without a trace, which for many listeners who hear these re-issues maybe a surprise.
Now the press release and liner notes make some wild claims that these are some of David Crosby's best recordings ever, which really feels like an insult to the music he made in The Byrds and Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Crosby Stills and Nash, but perhaps that's what happens when a science writer pens the liner notes as Steve Silberman has.
In case you're not familiar with Pevar or Raymond, Jeff Pevar was a member of Marc Cohn's, Shawn Colvin and Rickie Lee Jones band's and James Raymond has played with among others Ronnie Laws as well as being David Crosby's son, that David gave up for adoption, and was only re-united with after his Liver transplant. This album was the first time they worked together so it must have been quite an emotional experience making this album.
The album opens with the clearly heartfelt Morrison that is David's thoughts on how The Doors film jars with his personal memories of Jim Morrison and his far too early exit. Now rather than making a song that sounds like The Doors this sounds far more like a Steely Dan out-take this is smooth jazz-rock with lovely harmonies that are more interesting than the bland as bland can be music.
That House has lyrics that are at times rather simplistic describing how if you go in the kitchen there's a door that leads out of the house, over super mild wallpaper jazz rock that is of course extremely well produced and played but just sounds totally un-inspiring.
One for Every Moment has some really interesting percussion and Spanish influenced guitar with lyrics about being in the desert and the longer this song goes on the more it feels like it is made for background music in a coffee shop complete with a too bland for Kenny G sax solo.
At The Edge is a song of survival from David who had by this point survived his own Drug fueled descent into Prison and a liver transplant and yet somehow this manages to be edge free somnambulant song ready to send the listeners to sleep as they wonder how have you treated your friends.
Somebody Else's Town at least picks up the tempo, so it sounds like the Ben Folds Five that helps make this sound like a piece of classic Yacht Rock.
Rusty And Blue is the sort of cocaine addled blues chill out that was aimed at the core American audiences that love the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan and the worst bits of The Eagles, which is the natural fanbase for this. Personally, not my thing but I get how well-constructed it is and the piano is Oscar Petersonesque this has a very three in the morning feel to it.
Somehow She Knew feels like a centre piece story song that slowly unfolds over seven slowly evolving minutes as we find out how she knew why he was feeling that way, a confessional heartfelt eulogy for his first love Christine Gail Hinton and how his current wife knew how the Fisher King hit him.
Little Blind Fish sounds almost like it's being sung round the old campfire by a wild river they are fishing in with some elastic bass and cool percussion while on a mushroom cloud.
Yesterday's Child is almost choral harmony vocals almost hymnal while gently spouting mantras and voices for change as we grow older and change with a song that sounds totally stuck in the mid 70's middle American AM rock.
It's All Coming Back To Me Know is the closest to classic Crosby Stills and Nash as they get and is the one song that sounds like it might have crossed over to anyone who wasn't already a Fan of David Crosby, it also has a very 80's MTV ready guitar solo in it.
Time Is The Final Currency was poignant enough for David to sing back in the 1990's now over 20 years later it has grown in meaning and it's unintentionally a song that feels right for our times in a very downbeat rumination of what time means to you as you get older and you never know how much more time you might have, be thankful for every breath you get, which is as 2020 as you can get.
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