Review : Graham Nash - Reflections (2009)
EwGraham Nash is best known as a quiet team player, a harmonizer rather than an innovator. But that's not entirely accurate. On the three-disc career overview Reflections, he pilots British Invasion hits by the Hollies, crafts earnest protest songs, and helps meld the eccentric talents of Crosby, Stills, and occasionally Young. But his singer-songwriter odes to whales, dolphins, and lovers, and the bland adult-contemporary production found on his more recent material, often make one yearn for the quirkiness displayed by his higher-profile peers. B–...full text
PopmatersCritics compare Graham Nash’s role in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to that of Paul McCartney’s position in the Beatles. They are the ones responsible for the sweet love songs and pop rock elements of the band whose sugary stylings needed to be counterweighted by the heavier, more intellectual and spiritual group members. Nash’s post CSN&Y work, like that of McCartney’s post-Beatle output, has some memorable and even sometimes stellar moments but is generally thought inferior to that of Nash’s work with the combo because of his tendency towards whimsy.
The comparison is an apt one, as far as it goes. Nash and McCartney both have written and performed their share of silly love songs, and no one will accuse either musician of being a serious thinker. But like all such evaluations, there are many exceptions to the rule. After all it was Paul, not John, who wrote “Why Don’t We Do It In the Road” and it was Nash that left the Hollies to join up with his North American mates because he wanted to experiment with new and revolutionary musical forms....full text
BBCPerhaps the most underrated member of CSN&Y quartet, this 3-CD retrospective spanning 40 years reminds us that Graham Nash's importance and value to that alchemical blending was never so much his writing but his unrivaled ear for harmony.
Nash was able to sense out the silver-tinged vocal line that would transform a simple tune into a great song. In The Hollies it was his high-flying vocals which often added a turbo-charged lift to lead vocalist Alan Clarke's straighter pop delivery.
Always a little too hip for The Hollies (publicly citing his admiration for Zappa's Freak Out back in 1966), he was keen to break free of the pop merry-go-round that had nevertheless found many him admirers in the States including The Byrds' David Crosby.
Having joined forces with Crosby and the phenomenally gifted Stephen Stills, Nash's ability to sift through the almost embarrassing wealth of melodic options generated when these guys opened their mouths often made the hairs stand on end....full text
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