Picks and Pans Review: Innocent Eyes

updated 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Graham Nash

"I got a little sick of trying to save the world with my music," Nash said when this album was released. "It just can't be the overwhelming theme of every album you do, because it becomes boring after a while. People don't want to be preached to." He inadvertently proves his point with a couple of his own songs: Over the Wall, a lament about the Berlin Wall, and I Got a Rock, an antiwar song that begins, "I got a rock/ You got a rock/ We got a rock/ They got a rock/ I got a stick/ You got a stick/ We got a stick/ They got a stick." The most appealing songs on the record are more in line with the kind of soft rock Nash helped make popular with the Hollies and his buddies David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young. Sad Eyes, for instance, is a most effective song of loving gratitude that begins, "In the morning light I once told you/ I will love you all my life/ Then I noticed that you were asleep/ But I told you anyway." James Taylor adds a noteworthy backup vocal on that tune, as Kenny Loggins does on the title track. Since Nash's voice is a little on the shallow side (reminiscent of a wan Sting at times), he can use the help. An Englishman transplanted to California, he's now 44 and occasionally sounds adrift. This is his first solo album in six years and his first ever without any contributions from his CSNY colleagues. So he should be forgiven a slight lack of focus, especially because he manages to project such warmth and affability. (Atlantic)

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