After The Storm

Crosby, Stills & Nash

Atlantic, 1994

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Throughout their career, David Crosby, Graham Nash, and especially Stephen Stills had an off-again, on-again relationship with Neil Young. 1994 found that relationship in off-again mode as they entered the studio to record After The Storm.

What emerged was a pleasant if somewhat average affair. It reminds me of a nice meal at a good restaurant which is enjoyed, digested, but quickly forgotten.

When I listen to this album, I can’t help but think it could have been better. In some ways, it was overproduced and just had too many back-up musicians. CSN would have been better served to have stripped back the sound as much as possible and relied on their own voices and instrumental backing. Keep it simple should have been the order of the day.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album starts out strong, but it runs out of steam as it progresses. The first four tracks are the equal of their best work. “Only Waiting For You” finds Stephen Stills cranking up his trusty guitar and proving that when properly motivated, he is a master of the instrument. “Find A Dream” features more of Stills on guitar plus some wonderful harmonies. Crosby continues his trend of presenting one superior song for each album, and on this one it’s “Camera,” which has a gentleness and lyrical beauty that he was so good at creating. “Unequal Love” is centered on Nash’s voice and, yes, more Stills on guitar.

The rest of the album is a hit-or-miss affair. “These Empty Days” contains more classic harmonies, which make the song worthwhile. “It Won’t Go Away” is only saved by Stills on electric guitar. Their cover of The Beatles “In My Life” is not so lucky, as it was a poor choice of material and gets bogged down in its own excess. Meanwhile, “Street To Lean On,” “Bad Boyz,” and “Panama” just do not rise to any level of enjoyment.

After The Storm was Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s first studio album of the ‘90s, and while it was competent – and even very good in places – overall it showed they were not aging gracefully, at least in the studio. As the years passed, this type of release have become all too representative of their ‘80s and ‘90s output. Still, they remain a popular concert attraction and have built a respected body of work, which allows them to remain in the upper echelon of the rock pantheon.

Rating: C+

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