Stephen Stills

Man Alive!

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Fourteen years after his last solo outing, STILLS ALONE, Stephen Stills unveiled 2005's MAN ALIVE!, a remarkably vital and dynamic album that features the veteran performer penning almost every song and playing many of the record's instruments. Although David Crosby is absent, Stills's other CSNY mates, Graham Nash and Neil Young, turn up separately. While Nash subtly sticks to backing-vocal duty, Young contributes his typically incendiary electric-guitar lines to the hard-rocking "'Round the Bend" and offers up vocal harmonies and acoustic-guitar work on the spare, soulful "Different Man." A more unlikely cameo comes in the form of pianist Herbie Hancock's prominent presence on the 11-minute epic "Spanish Suite," which also features Latin percussion great Willie Bobo. Of course, Stills is the main attraction on MAN ALIVE!, with his husky voice carrying every song, including the socially conscious CSN-like track "Feed the People" and the blues-tinged "Piece of Me." Those who waited years for another Stills solo outing won't be disappointed by MAN ALIVE!, an excellent addition to his formidable, decade-spanning catalogue.

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