Cassandra L. from KENDALL, NY Reviewed on 6/2/2010...
I wasn't impressed with this album after having read about them in a book. I think their older work is much better than this.
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Mike E. from MILWAUKEE, WI Reviewed on 5/2/2007...
A more contemporay Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
HONESTLY. THERE'S A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH HERE.
Crabby Apple Mick Lee | INDIANAPOLIS, IN USA | 12/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is commonly said that CSNY came together for this CD for all the wrong reasons. Even the individual members of the band confess that AMERICAN DREAM was not the album they should have made. Young is quoted as saying that he promised to return to the band for an album if David Crosby kicked his crack habit. Well, as luck would have it, Crosby got himself arrested one time too many and into the Big Clink he went. Soon Crosby found himself in with a better class of people and walked out of the jail months later clean and sober. Much to Young's chagrin his pledge came back to haunt him and so rather than take back his promise into the studio he went. The resulting album then got some equivalent of a "Dog of the Year" award from Rolling Stone magazine-that being the kindest praise it received.
I take a different point of view. One of the virtue of CD-players is you can "program out" certain selections. It is surprising how "good" albums become "excellent" albums when particular debris is given a "rest".
I hate to say this because I like the guy. I've seen him in dozens of television interviews and listened to him many times in radio interviews speak extensively about music and many other subjects. He is very articulate and intelligent and I would love to drink a few beers with him and shoot the breeze. He probably knows more and remembers much more of the truth behind the great events in Rock history than most who were there or claimed to be there. Nevertheless, I find that there is nothing wrong with AMERICAN DREAM if you program out Graham Nash's songs.
Somewhere along the line, Nash became convinced that he had emerged as the creative force in CSN. His "Wasted on the Way" and "Just a Song before I Go" were among the brighter spots on CSN and DAYLIGHT AGAIN as well as becoming modest hits on the radio. However, the balance of his songwriting suffers from a wooden quality lyrically and is mediocre musically. Both of these deflects are magnified when Nash gets a little preachy. This has puzzled me for a long time since I liked Nash's first album, SONGS FOR BEGINNERS, as well as his collaborations with David Crosby in GRAHAM NASH/DAVID CROSBY and WIND ON THE WATER.
When Nash gets together with David Crosby, the blend of their voices is so graceful and pleasing that together they are major stars in their own right as well as "A-list" backup singers to other artists' projects. But on this album Nash's songs are just dead weight.
Putting Nash's contributions aside and considering the rest of the album, one gets the funny notion that this really started out as a Steven Still/Neil Young album and then Crosby and Nash were included when the album was over half done. It has been strongly rumored for years that the first Stills/Young album, LONG MAY YOU RUN, started out as a CSNY project and somewhere during the process Still and Young parted ways with the other pair and erased or removed their voices and contributions to the project. Needless to say, Crosby and Nash were none too pleased and may account for some of the snotty things Nash says about Stills and Young every now and then. Aside from the renewal of David Crosby's life, one has to wonder if this album was an attempt to make up for that past offense.
Whatever the truth may be the rest of the album sparkles. Stills' contributions do not match any thing like "Carry On" or "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"; but his "Got It Made" is one of the most enjoyable songs on the album. Neil Young's songs are...well, Neil Young. I think they are fun and wonderful. Then again I think nearly everything Young has done is in a stellar class by itself. Others do not share my enthusiasm so you'll just have to make up your own mind. Crosby's two songs are a hit and miss. "Nighttime for Generals" is just his typical paranoid political views on parade-not even among the best of those at that. But his far more personal "Compass" is a tender and introspective song of wisdom bought with personal tragedy, youthful foolishness, and self-destructive mistakes. Well worth the price of the album by itself.
So take my advice. Listen to this album judiciously with artistic discrimination. It will reward you and you will enjoy it much more.
Daniel Taylor | Patterson, New York United States | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know many people bad mouth this album and everyone is entitled to your opinion and mine is that this album is amazing. I first heard this album on cassett when I was about 8. I listened to it so much that I actually wore out the tape. For a while I forgot about this album but recently I found my old copy and went and bought a cd release. The lyrics that have been created here have brought me to tears, they touch me on such a deep level. As well as having great vocals and instrumental the lyrics make everything so much better."
It is better than people think it is!
Crabby Apple Mick Lee | 09/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have read some bad comments about this album, but I like it. It does have some problems, especially Nash's songs except "Clear Blue Skies", and some of Still's stuff, like "That Girl" and "Nightsong." The best stuff though is by far Crosby and Young's songs. "American Dream" is a great tune as is "This Old House" and "Feel Your Love," the latter being one of my favorite Young songs with CS&N. Crosby with his only two songs has a great rocker with "Nighttime For the Generals" and "Compass," quite possibly his best song after his imprisonment. Anyway, it is a good album, not their best but still good, and I would buy it. Let us now look forward to their new album coming out later this year."
A. Roberts | 08/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bending from traditonal CSN and CSNY music but still a very good album."
Lone Wolf | Michigan | 09/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the naysayers convince you that this album is bad. On the contrary, this album from 1988 is one of the best CSNY has ever produced & as long as you aren't biased against the band's more modern pop/rock sound that they took on, you are in for a real treat. It is chock full of catchy melodic songs & has a few pleasant surprises. Neil Young starts things off with a great folk rocker, "American Dream" & contributes many more great folk/rock songs throughout the album. My favorite being "Feel Your Love" which is a catchy & upbeat mid-tempo love song. David Crosby's "Compass" is a haunting & teriffic acoustic ballad & is right up there with the groups best work. Then Crosby does a total 180 & rocks out with "Nighttime for the Generals". Probably the hardest rocking & coolest song the group has ever done. It explodes with grinding guitars, thumping bass & heavy drums and it's subject matter was never more relevant than it is today. Both of these tracks should've been singles. My fav track on the album is the incredibly catchy "Got It made" which was sung to perfection by Stephen Stills. He also does a another catchy mid-tempo love song called "That Girl" which has really nice harmony vocals & a harder rocking song called "Drivin thunder" which isn't bad. Last but not least, Graham Nash takes on the songs about the more serious issues. Sometimes Graham takes alot of flack for being too political or preachy but I for one don't mind. Everything he sings about on this album should be important to anyone with a conscience. "Clear blue skies" is a great mid-tempo song about taking care of our environment & "Shadowland", which sounds somewhat Japanese, is a really atmosheric song (complete with jungle & helicopter sound effects) about the PoW's that got left behind in Vietnam. And even if you don't care about the subject matter, these tracks are enjoyable just from a music standpoint. So to sum it all up, if you are a fan of these 4 rock legends & want to hear what they sounded like with a harder rock edge to them but with their trademark harmonies still intact, this is the album to get cuz it is fantastic from start to finish & contains no filler whatsoever. It's also my favorite & IMHO, their last truly great album."