Graham Nash

Songs for Survivors

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In his first solo album after a ten-year hiatus, Graham Nash delivers a low-key package with minimal, acoustic-oriented arrangements of fairly agreeable material. A new and not unattractive huskiness enhances his delivery and adds depth to harmonized passages; some duo parts strongly recall Simon & Garfunkel, especially in the intriguing, if arguably misogynist "Pavanne"; and there's some glorious three-part work elsewhere as well. In the dryness of its instrumental tracks, Songs for Survivors recalls Neil Young circa "Heart of Gold," though Nash seems to struggle a bit more for his lyric: his stretch all the way back to a forgotten atrocity from 1921 on "Dirty Little Secret" only muddies his message. On more conventional tunes his imagery has a shopworn character, as in the rocks and crashing waves that set the stage for romance on "I'll Be There for You" or in the ancient imprecation to "Leave the love light in your eyes/You must believe it's true," on "Nothing in the World." With these disappointing moments balanced by more inspired narrative in the bleak but intriguing "Chelsea Hotel" and the simple affection of "Come With Me," Nash's comeback adds up to a pleasant, if not epochal, presentation.

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